Prepared by the Indiana University High School Curriculum Center in Government, this paper presents a brief but comprehensive introduction to the main characteristics of a behavioral approach to American politics. The first of four parts sets forth assumptions and requirements implicit in a behavioral approach and elucidates the relationship between science, political science, and political behavior. The second part explains one formulation of a behavioral perspective--the "field approach"--which conceives of the individual as a biological and human entity existing within social and cultural environments. The third part suggests how the field approach can make the political behavior of the American citizen more intelligible by emphasizing the relevance of four factors: political culture, sociology, psychology, and socialization. The fourth part applies the same four categories of the field approach to the behavior of political leaders, both formal and informal. (See TE 499 926 for a description of the Center's experimental course in American political behavior.) (LH)
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Indiana Univ., Bloomington. High School Curriculum Center in Government.
Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.