Psychological methods in political perception studies



An article focuses on specific features of the use of psychological methods for the study of political objects. An focus is made on political perception. An author bases her conclusions on the literature as well as on her own studies’ experience. A distinctive feature of political perception is its indirect character. The mass distribution of new channels of political communication leads to the virtualization of politics and the separation of political images from the real interests and everyday practices of citizens. This is reflected in the process of perception, in which unconscious components play a significant role. In this regard, for the study of political images, both at the rational level and on the unconscious, it is necessary to use complex research methods. The following methods will be considered in this article: in-depth interview, projective test, open question survey and fixed association method. They have proved to be effective in studying political phenomena

General Information

Keywords: political perception, images of authorities, images of political leaders, in-depth interview, projective test, method of fixed associations

Journal rubric: Methodological Tools

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Shestopal E.B. Psychological methods in political perception studies. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2018. Vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 81–90. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2018090309. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Elena B. Shestopal, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, Head of the Department of Sociology and Psychology of Politics, Faculty of Political Science, MSU them. Lomonosov, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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