What’s Political Psychology?

At its very center, political psychology is focused on a person’s behavior within the given political system. Psychology alone can’t explain intractable conflicts, war, Holocaust or even other extreme behavior of the state or collective political entity in a complex environment. Individuals are not acting or responding within a vacuum. Rather, their behavior greatly varies and responds to the differences in the following:

  • Political cultures
  • Political institution
  • Leadership style and;
  • Social norm

As a matter of fact, psychology has greatly influenced the behavior of foreign policy, mainly because of how it interacted with the specific elements of distinct societies, national governments and international system. Basically, the same logic is applied to a wider range of phenomena.

How People Generally React?

Complex mix of political context and individual psychology is shaping public reaction to terrorism. Public support for policies regarding anti-terrorism is basically dependent on the reaction of a threatened government, how they perceived the competence as well as effectiveness in fighting terrorism and, the vulnerability felt by their citizen towards future terrorist events.

External forces like the terrorist capabilities and determination and strength of government national security policy vary over time and contexts. These are all factors that are influencing how a citizen would feel and react on a given situation.

A weak government and powerful terrorist have a tendency to create anxiety amongst threatened population whereas the opposite is more likely to conjure feelings of anger. Aside from that, not everyone is responding to threat in the same manner and individual psychological disposition has added role in figuring out whether someone is reacting with anxiety or anger with terrorism.

Generally speaking, a society that is dominated by feelings of anger might support aggression towards their action for antiterrorism while a population that is dominated by anxiety might oppose aggressive decisions that may exacerbates the risks of escalating terrorism.

Using Your Own Will Against You

In a broader sense, questions regarding public reactions to terrorism or authoritarian response to a fascist rule are associated to among the biggest concerns in political psychology; how well the citizens are equipped in handling their democratic responsibilities, are they capable of deliberating over present issues to arrive at a fair decision or will they be succumbing to internecine enmities and become victim of irrational intolerance?

Many of the same procedures take place among political leaders and even at work such as in QQ online. Political psychology is used deliberately to control a person’s reaction and decision by those who are well aware of how to manipulate it.

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