Author: John T. Jost, Aaron C. Kay,
Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 11, 2009)
The knowledge of our own minds can be put to no better use than in understanding our social and political lives. That is why political psychology matters. Political psychology applies an important branch of the cognitive and brain sciences—experimental psychology, including social and cognitive psychology to politics.
Although the methodologies may be limited to the techniques of one or more sub-fields, the results nonetheless contribute substantially to the overall picture: Political thought is not what it appears to be. It is much deeper, as we strive to show in Social and Psychological Bases of Ideology and System Justification.
Over the past three decades, the cognitive and brain sciences have utterly changed our understanding of the mind and how it works. The results are startling to most people, including academics in most fields and political professionals. Perhaps most startling is the concept that ideas are not abstract; they are physical structures in the brain—and once there, they don’t change easily.
A widely accepted view of the mind assumes that reason is conscious, literal (it can directly fit the world), logical, dispassionate, universal, disembodied (independent of perception and bodily movement), and serving of self-interest, so much so that it is seen to be irrational to act against one’s own interests.