In this course we will examine how to apply psychological theory to understand the lives of political leaders. We begin this course with a consideration the role of personality in political leadership. We then examine psychological theories that can be fruitfully applied to the study of individual lives, from traditional psychodynamic theories of the whole person (e.g., Freud) to models focusing on important organizing variables (e.g., scripts and interpersonal styles). Next, we evaluate existing psychobiographies of important figures such as Mohandas Gandhi, Adolf Hitler and Woodrow Wilson. Finally, each student prepares a psychobiographical term paper on a figure of his or her choice.
Requisite: PSYC 220, 221, or permission of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professor Demorest.