7 August 2020
This module on political psychology will introduce students to the empirical study of political decision making
through the lens of psychology and neuroscience. It will explore some of the key individual differences (in
personality, moral values and cognitive biases, etc.) that are associated with different political views, and
explore some of the key psychological mechanisms (cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias, cognitive
heuristics etc.) that influence how we vote. The module will also explore the broader cognitive neuroscience
of political decision making, including differences in genetics, brain structure and brain activity associated with
different patterns of voting. The module will focus on quantitative research, and develop hands on skills in
analysing data using open source software.
Dr Lee de-Wit
This is a level one module (equivalent to first year undergraduate). No prior subject knowledge is required to study this module but students are expected to have a keen interest in the subject area. Students must have completed at least one year of undergraduate study by the start of the module in order to enroll.
This module aims to provide an insight into how human psychology can shape political decision making. More
specifically it aims to explore how individual differences (in personality, beliefs, moral values, genetics, brain
structure and activity), can help us to understand political differences. It also aims to provide an insight into
some of the key cognitive (confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, etc.) and perceptual (voice preferences, first
impressions of faces) biases that play a role in political decision making. The module aims to not only
demonstrate how quantitative empirical research methods can be brought to bear on these topics, but to also
give hands on training in the collection and analysis of quantitative research data.
7.5 ECTS / 4 US / 0.5 UCL
GBP 2100: The tuition fee for this module is £2100.
GBP 1100: There is an option to stay at the UCL Summer School residence for the duration of the three-week course. Accommodation is within walking distance to the UCL campus and features private, en suite rooms with shared kitchens. The cost is approx. £1100 per three-week session.