The Psychology of Politicians explores a topic which fuels public and media debate yet is under-researched and has potentially far-reaching consequences for the success of our political systems. Focusing on research with democratically elected representatives from the UK, Poland and Italy, and on the political behaviour of a former US President and voters' perceptions in the emerging democracy of Ukraine, this book is packed with psychological insights. Using quantitative and qualitative methodologies, the contributors chart the progress of the individual politician from selection as a candidate to becoming established in Parliament examining their qualities as communicators, thinkers and leaders. The impact of work and non-work pressures on their mental well-being and capacity to handle a crisis are probed and the roles of personality traits in politicians' values and in public perceptions of our elected representatives are highlighted.
Ashley Weinberg is a chartered psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Salford. He conducted the first study of stress in UK Members of Parliament as a postgraduate student and has been researching the impact of the job on national politicians for twenty years. He has published books, academic articles and chapters on the importance of psychological health in a range of public sector occupations and completed his PhD on sources of stress in the UK National Health Service. The author of Organizational Stress Management (with Val Sutherland and Cary Cooper, 2010) and Surviving the Workplace (with Cary Cooper, 2007), Dr Weinberg also led the establishment of a Psychology department at the University of Salford and holds an honorary lectureship in Psychology at Manchester University.
1. The psychology of politicians Ashley Weinberg; Part I. Becoming Politicians: 2. Recruiting politicians: designing competency-based selection for UK parliamentary candidates Jo Silvester; 3. Politicians and power: MPs in the UK parliament Richard Kwiatkowski; Part II. Being at the Centre of Things: How Politicians Function in their Job: 4. What makes a successful politician? The social skills of politics Peter Bull; 5. Cognitive skills and motivation to adapt to social change among Polish politicians Agnieszka Golec de Zavala; 6. Political leadership and its development Jean Hartley; Part III. Coping with Pressure?: 7. Should the job of national politician carry a government health warning? The impact of psychological strain on politicians Ashley Weinberg; 8. When cognitions reach boiling point: the impact of denial and avoidance by policy-makers during a foreign policy crisis Max V. Metselaar; Part IV. People as Politicians: 9. The political side of personality Gianvittorio Caprara, Michele Vecchione and Claudio Barbaranelli; 10. Where red dictators coexist with promising democrats: the conceptualization of politicians in post-communist Ukraine Pavlo D. Frolov, Olha V. Petrunko and Dmitriy V. Poznyak.