is the process and method of gaining or maintaining support for public or common action: the conduct of decision-making
for groups. Although it is usually applied to governments, political behavior is also observed in corporate, academic, religious, and other institutions. Political science
is the field devoted to studying political behavior and examining the acquisition and application of power
, or the ability to impose one's will on another. Its practitioners are known as political scientists. Political scientists look at elections
, public opinion, institutional activities (how legislatures
act, the relative importance of various sources of political power), the ideologies behind various politicians and interest groups, how politicians achieve and wield their influence, and so on.