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date: 22 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of the experimental study of leadership historically, describing a few seminal studies that outline the central concepts and debates in the field. Very little work has been done in this area involving real political leaders because of ethical and logistical constraints. However, some experimental work on the nature of followership appears relevant, because public perception often determines who becomes elevated to positions of leadership. The chapter then describes some critical challenges and opportunities confronting the use of experiments to investigate political leadership, including the many different kinds of leadership that exist, and how leadership may change across domains of decision-making. A discussion of some possible future directions in this area concludes the chapter, including further exploration of the biological basis of leadership.

Keywords: Leadership, followership, experiment, evolution

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