Group Dynamics and the Public Sphere

Psychology in the Public Sphere

What role can psychology play in the public sphere?

Traditionally, psychology focused on the private life of the individual, but over time the field has broadened its scope. From Wilhelm Wundt’s (1832-1920) studies of perception in the late nineteenth century, psychology has moved to the study of the group, as seen, for example, in social and organizational psychology. More recently, psychology has moved into the public sphere, conducting studies on the personalities of politicians, voting behavior, and even ballot design.


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