Psychological Diplomacy (PsyDip) is diplomacy that makes use of psychological tools, including psychological theories, research, and interventions. It is the diplomatic counterpart to Psychological Warfare (PsyWar). Whereas PsyWar uses psychology to reach military objectives, PsyDip uses psychology to reach diplomatic objectives. This blog both invents the term Psychological Diplomacy and actively explores the possibility that psychology can improve international relations.

*Disclaimer: This is an individual, non-governmental blog.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Guest post: Dr. Michael Elasmar on International Public Opinion Formation

From a public diplomacy perspective, knowing what influences the variation of opinions will reveal what it will take to change them in a desirable direction.  In this case, understanding why international public opinion toward the U.S. varies is vital to improve this international public opinion.  While describing the trend in public opinion falls solely within the domain of statistics, empirically explaining the variation of public opinion trends involves the use of statistical analytic approaches for testing theoretical explanations.  – Michael Elasmar, Ph.D.
PsyDip is very excited to have a guest post on the blog today from friend and colleague Dr. Michael Elasmar, distinguished Associate Professor and Director of the Communication Research Center at Boston University.  Dr. Elasmar’s specialty is in the application of psychometric and other mathematical models for solving practical problems in the field of communication.  He is also editor of the American Journal of Media Psychology.  What we have here now from Dr. Elasmar is a theoretical piece that addresses the topic of public diplomacy from a psychological perspective by focusing on international public opinion.  Public diplomacy professionals will be especially interested in this informative article.
Title: “Understanding the Process of International Public Opinion Formation: Implications for Public Diplomacy”.  Here is the featured article in full:

And here is some supplemental information about Dr. Elasmar and his work:
Michael Elasmar, Ph.D.
Communication Research Center at Boston University
American Journal of Media Psychology

(above image: collage by Judy Wapp, “Public Opinion”)

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