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The influence of social groups

Biology and political science[edit]

Interdisciplinary studies in biology and political science aim to identify correlates of political behavior with biological aspects, for example the linkage of biology and political orientation, but also with other aspects like partisanship and voting behavior.[21] This field of study is typically referred to genopolitics although it is sometimes referred to as biopolitics,[22] although the term has other meanings.

The study of possible genetic bases of political behavior has grown since the 1980s. The term genopolitics was coined by political scientist James Fowler in the early-2000s to describe research into identifying specific transporter/receptor genes responsible for ideological orientation beyond the sociopsychological realm of political socialisation.

Political participation[edit]

Political scientists also aim to understand what drives individuals to participate in the democratic process, either by voting, volunteering for campaigns, signing petitions or protesting. Participation cannot always be explained by rational behavior. The voting paradox, for example, points out that it cannot be in a citizen’s self-interest to vote because the effort it takes to vote will almost always outweigh the benefits of voting, particularly considering a single vote is unlikely to change an electoral outcome. Political scientists instead propose that citizens vote for psychological or social reasons. Studies show, for example, that individuals are more likely to vote if they see their friends have voted[23] or if someone in their household has received a nudge to vote.[24]