Political Psychology is a scientific discipline that examines the psychological origins and reflections of political issues within a framework ranging from individuals' emotions, thoughts and behaviors to social attitudes that form group identities and reflections on political life. The most prominent feature of this discipline is that it has an inter-disciplinary character that comprehends many scientific fields from social anthropology, history, sociology to law and theology, while it focuses mainly on psychology and political science. The field studies focus on areas such as large-group identity, leadership studies, political traumas, conflict analysis and resolution, as well as psychopolitical analysis of international relations. The field of Political Psychology focuses on the fault lines that unite and separate the political ground on the basis of social identities, conflicts and alliances.
The discipline of Political Psychology is historicist and origin-oriented as it examines the psychological causes leading to social breaks from a psychoanalytic perspective. Just as an individual is subjected to psychoanalysis, societies are also subjected to an evaluation of their traumatic and decisive events in their history and accumulation of their past experiences. It tries to find the relation of causality and repetitive practices.
What are the working fields of Political Psychology?
Political Psychology has a wide range of application fields. In addition to political science and psychology, it is also closely associated with social anthropology, history, sociology, psychiatry, international relations, economics, art and philosophy. It deals with broader and deeper issues, such as selected victories and traumas in the formation of national identities, the psychological effects of social changes, the formation of large-group identities, the origins of ethnic and sectarian divisions apart from current issues such as conflict resolution, peace processes, civil wars, terrorism, political elections, leader analysis.
We can list some of the topics as follows in order to exemplify the research areas in this field: