Social interaction and psychological pathways to political engagement and extremism

Thomas, Emma F., McGarty, Craig and Louis, Winnifred (2014) Social interaction and psychological pathways to political engagement and extremism. European Journal of Social Psychology, 44 1: 15-22. doi:10.1002/ejsp.1988

Author Thomas, Emma F.
McGarty, Craig
Louis, Winnifred
Title Social interaction and psychological pathways to political engagement and extremism
Journal name European Journal of Social Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0046-2772
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/ejsp.1988
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 44
Issue 1
Start page 15
End page 22
Total pages 8
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Abstract Although psychology has recently witnessed a burgeoning interest in the predictors of social and political action generally, little research has considered the psychological mechanisms by which people come to choose extreme or radical forms of action. How and why do groups come to favor radical or extreme solutions (radicalization) over conventional political pathways (politicization)? Theory in both political science and psychology suggests that social interaction plays an important role, but this has never been demonstrated experimentally. Results (N=114) show that social interaction can lead to both politicized and radicalized solutions but that radicalization rests on the perception that extreme action is legitimate. The findings provide the first experimental analog of the group-based dynamics that underpin political engagement and political extremism.
Keyword Psychology, Social
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 18 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 22 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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