Introduction to Political Psychology

By Martha Cottam; Beth Dietz-Uhler et al. | Go to book overview

Glossary

achievement motive. A person's concern with excellence and task accomplishment.

accountability. To have one's actions be transparent and evaluated by authorities with the power to punish wrongdoing. Political leaders will take greater risks, and be more likely to engage in conflict, the more they lack accountability to a higher power.

affect. A generic term for a whole range of preferences, evaluations, moods, and emotions.

affiliation intimacy motive. Concern with establishing, maintaining, or restoring warm and friendly relationships with other persons or groups.

agenda setting. When the media defines which issues need attention and in what form.

agreeableness. A Big Five personality trait. It means a person is trusting, positive, and good-natured.

ally image. A country or group perceived to be equal to the perceiver's country in terms of culture and capability, with good intentions, multiple groups in decision-making roles, and associated with threat or opportunity.

altruists. People who help others and who speak out, despite a risk for their personal safety.

analogy. A decision-making heuristic, or shorthand, in which policymakers see a current event or situation as similar to (or sharing many of the same characteristics as) a previous historical event.

assimilation effect. When information similar to other information is perceived as even more similar than it objectively is.

associative networks. Knowledge structures embedded in long-term memory, consisting of nodes linked to one another, forming a network of associations.

attitudes. An enduring system of positive or negative beliefs, affective feelings and emotions, and action tendencies regarding attitude objects, that is, the entity being evaluated.

attribution theory. A psychological theory that argues that people process information like naïve scientists; that is, they search for cause in the behavior of others. authoritarian personality. A personality type. Originally the type was said to contain the traits of conventionalism (rigid adherence to conventional values), submission to authority figures, authoritarian aggression (i.e., aggressive impulses toward those who are not conventional), anti-intraception (i.e., rejection of tenderness, imagination, subjectivity), superstition and stereotype (fatalistic belief in mystical determinants of the future, and rigid thinking), high value placed on power and toughness, destructiveness and cynicism, projectivity (i.e., the projection outward of unacceptable impulses), and an excessive concern with the sexual activity of others. In Altemeyer's (1996) reconceptualization, the type has three traits: authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, and conventionalism.

autokinetic effect. A perceptual illusion that occurs when a single point of light in a darkened room appears to be moving.

availability heuristic. When people predict the likelihood of something, based on the ease with which they can think of instances or examples of it.

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