Political Psychology

By Kristen Renwick Monroe | Go to book overview
Save to active project

A Paradigm for Political Psychology
University of California at Irvine

The richness of political psychology is amply illustrated in the previous chapters of this volume. Yet, as one contributor commented, there is no one basic theory associated with political psychology, no underlying paradigm that gives unity and coherence to political psychology as a field.1 As I assess the field as a whole, I would argue that it is not the lack of theory but rather the overabundance of insightful theories that blinds us to an underlying paradigm in political psychology. Such a paradigm does exist, however, and can be discerned if we review the major theories in political psychology with an eye for the common element. Doing so suggests that many important theories in political psychology rest on implicit assumptions concerning perceptions of the self and others. In this chapter I weave these tacit assumptions together into a simple paradigm for political psychology, and argue that it is the cognitive component of perspective that provides the basic underlying paradigm for political psychology.

I begin this final chapter by describing what I mean by perspective and what I define as its core assumptions. I next suggest how perspective draws on several bodies of literature in political psychology, from framing theory to social cognition theory. I then demonstrate how perspective provides a more encompassing paradigm than rational choice theory, arguably the dominant paradigm existing in social science today and one that essentially is a theory about the human psychology. I argue that if political psychology can refine perspective in the years to come it not only will solidify its own

Private conversation with David Sears, the War Tribunals in Holland, Summer, 1999.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Political Psychology
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 456

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?