The (Social) Psychological Legacy
for Political Psychology
In providing concepts and theories for the analysis of the political realm, psychology is an inseparable part of political psychology. It is therefore important to examine this psychological foundation and to consider its legacy. This chapter, therefore, first examines the psychological basis of political psychology by defining its nature and describing its scope. Here it is shown that political psychology draws much of its psychological basis from cognitive social psychology. Subsequently, the second part outlines three social psychological derivations that are of importance for political psychology.
The political realm does not exist independently of human actors who think politically, activate political systems, and behave politically. People plan and carry out political acts, support or object to political issues, participate in political organizations and systems, vote, engage in violence, make peace, learn different political concepts and attitudes, and lead, or follow, leaders. Although not all of the field covered by political science is directly related to human behavior, any analysis of the political process and its systems must take into account the psychology of the people involved.