Political psychology is an interdisciplinary academic field, dedicated to understanding politics, politicians and political behavior from a psychological perspective, and psychological processes using socio-political perspectives. The relationship between politics and psychology is considered bidirectional, with psychology being used as a lens for understanding politics and politics being used as a lens for understanding psychology. As an interdisciplinary field, political psychology borrows from a wide range of disciplines, including: anthropology, economics, history, international relations, journalism, media, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology.
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Political psychology aims to understand interdependent relationships between individuals and contexts that are influenced by beliefs, motivation, perception, cognition, information processing, learning strategies, socialization and attitude formation. Political psychological theory and approaches have been applied in many contexts such as: leadership role; domestic and foreign policy making; behavior in ethnic violence, war and genocide; group dynamics and conflict; racist behavior; voting attitudes and motivation; voting and the role of the media; nationalism; and political extremism. In essence political psychologists study the foundations, dynamics, and outcomes of political behavior using cognitive and social explanations.