What are the key challenges confronting U.S.-China relations in the 21st Century? Mainstream international relations theory focuses on relative military and economic capabilities, the balance of power, and the challenges of power transition. It thus neglects the role that psychological factors play in determining whether U.S.-China relations in the 21st century will be dominated by cooperation or conflict. For instance, what impact do national identities and ideologies have on mutual mis/perceptions and policy preferences? Do different cognitive styles impact the likelihood of strategic miscalculation in U.S.-China relations? And under what conditions does increasing U.S.-China interdependence promote peace, and under what conditions does it foster hostility?
The “Political Psychology of U.S.-China Relations” lab at the University of Oklahoma seeks to answer such questions. The lab is interdisciplinary, but its current orientation is largely that of applied social psychology, with a focus on survey and experimental methods.
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