Political psychology


The primary pedagogical goal of this class is to teach students how to use the tools of political psychology in other fields. This class, therefore, provides students with general knowledge in this field and proposes critical discussions on the discipline with a particular focus on three aspects: the key concepts of political psychology, its main objects of study since its inception, and the main methods used. The length of the course does not allow for a comprehensive overview. The topics and authors to be discussed have been selected so as to be relevant to a large majority of students, and range from the study of election campaigns to that of decision-making in international relations, of racism or of the personalities of heads of state. The contributions and limitations of different approaches (psychoanalysis, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, etc.) to explaining politics will be the object of collective critical analysis.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

Good knowledge of political science is useful. No knowledge of psychology is necessary to attend this class.

Form of assessment

The number of ECTS credits and the assessment methods are likely to be different for students in credit exchange programmes.


  • Cottam M., Dietz-Uhler B., Mastors E., Preston Th., Introduction to Political Psychology, Erlbaum, 2004. 
  • Deschamps J.-C., Beauvois J.-L., Des attitudes aux attributions. La construction sociale de la réalité, Grenoble, Presses universitaires de Grenoble, 1996.
  • Gouin R., Psychologie politique : (encore) une exception française !, The Conversation, 2 juillet 2018.
  • Jost J. T., Sidanius J., Political Psychology: Key Readings, New York, Psychology Press, 2004.
  • Sears D.O., Huddy L., Jervis R., Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology, New York, Oxford University Press, 2003.

Educational formula

Students are expected to participate actively in class (particularly in the course of psychology experiments conducted in class). They are also required to read articles that are an integral part of the course. Additional articles are made available to students who wish to examine certain topics in greater depth. Everything is posted on the Moodle e-learning platform.

In brief

Year Fourth year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Six-monthly

ECTS credits 3.0

Number of hours 18.0

Teaching activityLecture course

ValidationFinal written examination

Mandatory teaching

Open to exchange students



Educational manager :
Gouin Rodolphe [+]