- About the Contributors
- Introduction: Theoretical Foundations of Political Psychology
- Personality Approaches to Political Behavior
- Childhood and Adult Political Development
- Degrees of Rationality in Politics
- Behavioral Decision-Making
- Emotion and Political Psychology
- Toward an Evolutionarily Informed Political Psychology
- Genetic Foundations of Political Behavior
- Political Rhetoric
- Psychology and Foreign Policy Decision-Making
- Perceptions and Image Theory in International Relations
- Threat Perception in International Relations
- Crisis Management
- Personality Profiles of Political Elites
- Psychobiography: “the Child is Father of the man”
- Conflict Analysis and Resolution
- Political Information Processing
- Political Communication: Form and Consequence of the Information Environment
- Political Ideology
- Social Justice
- Networks, Interdependence, and Social Influence in Politics
- Political Deliberation
- From Group Identity to Political Cohesion and Commitment
- Social Movements and the Dynamics of Collective Action
- Prejudice and Politics
- Migration and Multiculturalism
- Discrimination <i>Conditions, Consequences, and “Cures”</i>
- The Psychology of Intractable Conflicts: Eruption, Escalation, and Peacemaking
Abstract and Keywords
Judgment and choice are at the core of all politics. This chapter develops a general framework for the study of individual decision-making that applies equally well to both elites and the mass public, focusing on processes used to identify alternatives, gather information, make an evaluation, and ultimately choose one alternative from many possibilities. It uses the framework of behavioral decision theory (BDT), which begins with the proposition that how decisions are made can be best studied by actually observing them in the making. The essay contrasts BDT with rational choice theory (RCT), arguing that BDT provides a superior way to understand how people make decisions and opens for study additional dimensions of the decision-making process. Psychological models derived from BDT have been applied to voter decision-making to examine decision strategies, decision quality, and election outcomes.
David P. Redlawsk is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University. His most recent book with Caroline Tolbert and Todd Donovan is Why Iowa? How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process (2011, Univ. of Chicago Press). With Richard Lau he is the author of How Voters Decide: Information Processing in Election Campaigns (2006, Cambridge Univ. Press) winner of the 2007 Alexander L. George Best Book Award from the International Society of Political Psychology. His research has been supported by multiple research grants from the National Science Foundation. He currently co-edits the journal Political Psychology.
Richard R. Lau is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for the Experimental Study of Politics and Psychology at Rutgers University. His research focuses on information processing, political advertising, and voter decision making. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Ford Foundation. His most recent book (with David Redlawsk), How Voters Decide (Cambridge University Press, 2006), won the 2007 Alexander George Award from the International Society of Political Psychology for the best book in political psychology published in the previous calendar year.
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