Political Psychology is a multi-disciplinary group established to provide a forum for collaboration, discussion and support for political psychology scholars and practitioners as well as to facilitate the dissemination of political psychology research to relevant political and social institutions and the broader public. We work closely with colleagues in Psychology, via a sister section of the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Follow us on Twitter: @PSA_PolPsy


UK Political Psychology conference: 20-21 June 2024, University of Southampton

Our 6th annual conference will be held in-person, and will feature 13 panels and a keynote from David Redlawsk (Delaware). The conference is free to attend.

The conference programme, accommodation details and registration facilities are available here.


Political psychology research seminars

Monday 20 May 2024, 16:00-17:00 (BST)

Personalisation versus privacy concerns as determinants of attitudes toward political micro-targeting in the US, Germany and France? Testing the 'privacy calculus’ in comparative electoral context
Rachel Gibson, University of Manchester

The practice of political micro-targeting (PMT) – tailoring messages for voters based on their personal data – has increased significantly over the past two decades, particularly in the U.S. While studies consistently show that publics are very concerned about the use of PMT in elections, the reasons for that opposition have not been subject to detailed theoretical or empirical analysis. Most studies cite privacy preference as a core motivation behind voter concerns but analyses typically focus on their linkage to standard socio-demographic correlates and partisanship. This talk seeks to advance this research by developing and testing a new explanatory model of attitudes toward PMT that examines the extent to which privacy concerns are driving peoples’ fears about PMT across three established democracies, vis a vis other psychological, socioeconomic and demographic factors. In particular, we examine the idea that privacy concerns, while important in determining attitudes toward PMT may be offset or moderated by the perceived benefits of personalised ad content. This so-called  ‘privacy calculus’ has been demonstrated for commercial advertising; however, whether it applies to political campaigns has not yet been explored. We hypothesise it will have more limited impact in the political context, but where it is detected, it will be most influential in the US. We further argue that its impact will vary according to the type of data used for PMT. We test our expectations using survey data from representative YouGov samples of U.S. German and French voters during the 2020 U.S. Presidential, 2021 German Federal and 2022 French Presidential election campaigns.

You can register for this seminar, which will be held on Teams, here.

If you would like to present your research at a seminar, please contact Ben Seyd.

Previous seminars (available to view on our YouTube channel)

30 Nov 2023 (George Melios, LSE)
Origin of (A)symmetry: The Evolution of Out-Party Distrust in the United States

19 Sept 2023 (Katharina Lawall, University of London)
Angry losers? The effects of feeling electoral loss on anti-democratic attitudes

6 June 2023 (Matthew Barnfield and Rob Johns, Essex)
'Hope, Optimism and Expectations in Politics'

Contact Us


Tabitha A. Baker
Bournemouth University 

Raynee Gutting
University of Essex

Jac Larner
Cardiff University

Ben Seyd
University of Kent

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