Subfield Coordinator: Gabe Lenz
Political behavior at UC Berkeley serves as a bridge between political science on the one side and political psychology and political sociology on the other. Its focus is on the social and psychological processes by which individuals (and groups) engage in political life. Although the actual studies of these matters may occur within a particular geographical or institutional context and data are most often drawn from the American experience, the purpose is to generalize to a class of political phenomena or behavior beyond specific countries or specific institutions. Attention is also paid to problems of survey design and analysis, the development of scales, indices, and other measurement devices, questionnaire construction, interviewing, sampling, and other elements of systematic research that aim to yield data susceptible to statistical analysis. Among the substantive topics covered in the field are: public opinion; political leadership; political participation and protest and personality and politics.