Crossing the Methodological and
Disciplinary Divide: Political Stability,
Political Change, and
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Political psychology is a diverse blend of intellectual threads from within political science and psychology, as can be gleaned from the titles and content of chapters in this volume. The fertile exchange between political science and psychology may be somewhat one-sided, as argued by Krosnick and McGraw (this volume), with political science providing the problems and psychology proffering the solutions. Nonetheless, topics in this volume reflect the field's interdisciplinary bent and range from the strategic communications of world leaders (Jervis, this volume) to the effects of early political socialization (Sears, this volume).
The intellectual breadth of political psychology is also accompanied by a diverse set of methodological tools. The field enjoys a more diversified analytic tool kit than either discipline alone. Moreover, methodological diversity is on the increase in both major disciplines and certainly within political psychology. Yet in the spirit of constructive criticism shared with many other chapters in this volume, I urge for greater methodological pluralism within political psychology and its respective parent disciplines. There are subfields of political psychology that embrace this pluralism wholeheartedly, with encouraging results. The field of political tolerance is