Political Psychology: New Explorations
I-Chant Chiang, Quest Executive Vice President and Social Sciences Tutor, is one of the editors of the recently published Political Psychology: New Explorations from Routledge Press. We interviewed I‑Chant to discuss her new book.
Q: Congratulations on the publication of your book. Can you explain what an edited volume is and what your role was in the publication?
IC: An edited volume is a collection of papers from many different authors. The other editors and I created a list of people to invite to contribute, then helped the authors improve their papers, and gave the book an overall thematic arc. Each editor also contributed a chapter and helped write an introduction to give the contributions context.
Q: What questions were you interested in answering with this volume?
IC: The field of political psychology is relatively new, so we were interested in the basic question of what is currently going on and if researchers were simply applying existing psychological theories to the political world or if there was original, basic research being done. The answer to our question was “yes;” we found that all of the papers were original research that advanced the field and contributed to our understanding of human behaviour in a political context.
Q: What did you learn from the publication process?
IC: The diversity of approaches to the question of how people behave in the political world was something I came to appreciate. Some people used model-based research, while others were more experimental. Some researchers conducted interviews, while others did less invasive observations. I learned that all of the methods added something significant to our overall output.
Q: Did any new questions arise at the end of the project?
IC: Yes, the notion of whether the trends we are seeing are cyclical or are they responses that change as history keeps changing. One chapter about the 9/11 attacks suggests that there is a sort of cyclical “normal” state to which people return. However, the developments with the new President in the United States might signal different kinds of change depending on new circumstances. It is definitely something to pay attention to in the field.
Link to press: https://www.routledge.com