The field: Political psychology has emerged as a major subfield of political science and a focal research interest of psychology.  The growth of the field is reflected in the establishment of an academic society, the International Society of Political Psychology, the formation of  Political Psychology sections in both the American Political Science Association and the European Consortium of Political Research and the emergence of major journals devoted to political psychology in both the US and Europe.

The Political Psychology field at UC Irvine is one of several programs that have emerged in the US over the last 15 years.  The program draws on the School of Social Sciences’ tradition of interdisciplinary research and boasts the active participation of distinguished faculty in political science, psychology, critical theory and medicine.  The UC Irvine program is unique in the US in several important respects:

  • It emphasizes the need to combine rigorous empirical research with a serious consideration of the broader concerns of normative and analytical political theory.
  • Students are required to do substantial coursework in both political science and psychology.
  • It recognizes an array of research methods including: open-ended interviewing, semi-structured interviews, surveys and the observation of behavior.  It also recognizes the value of a variety of research designs including: case studies, sample surveys and experiments.
  • The program hosts the Southern California Political Psychology Workshop.  Twice a year, this brings faculty and graduate students from the California area together for a one day conference on the UC Irvine campus.
  • Through the UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality, the program also maintains formal linkage with the Caucus of Concerned Scholars: Committee on Ethics and Morality of the International Society of Political Psychology



Core Faculty:

Pete Ditto, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior

Mark Fisher, Professor of Neurology & Political Science

Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor of Psychology

Sal Maddi, Emeritus Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior

Kristen Monroe, Professor of Political Science

Kevin Olson, Associate Professor of Political Science

Shawn Rosenberg, Professor of Political Science & Psychology & Social Behavior

Gabriele Schwab, Professor of English

Michael Tesler, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Davin Phoenix, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Joey Cheng, Assistant Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior


Associated faculty at other institutions:

While not on located campus, the following professors are actively associated with the program.  They are occasional visitors at UCI.  More importantly, they assist in the review of qualifying papers and the supervision of doctoral candidates.  They also host UCI students at their home universities.  The participation reflects the program’s commitment to conceiving political psychology as an international field of inquiry.
John Cash, Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne

Janusz Reykowski, Professor of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw School of Social Psychology

Marco Steenbergen, Professor of Political Sociology and Political Psychology, University of Berne, Switzerland



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