Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3051: Political Psychology of Masses

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module will run during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff




Available via distance learning


When we study political attitudes and behaviour we are often content to look at what is influenced by certain political attitudes. Or we look at socio-economic correlates with attitudes and behaviours from terrorism, racism and intolerance to voting. In other words, we ignore what is often referred to as the “black box”, or the psychological processes and dynamics that lie behind these attitudes and behaviours. Political psychology focuses explicitly on the “black box.” In this module, you will look at the psychology of mass political behaviour, looking first at the kinds of factors that seem to lead to ostensibly normal people engaging in abnormal behaviour, such as committing atrocities, and then at explanations for more benign behaviour such as voting and vote preferences. Political psychology is a relatively new subfield of Politics that has provided a wealth of new insights and approaches to the study of politics, many of which you will encounter in this module.


No prior knowledge skills or experience are required to take this module and it is suitable for specialist and non-specialist students.

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