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Extremism and the Psychology of Uncertainty. Blackwell/Claremont Applied Social Psychology Series

  • ID: 2247149
  • Book
  • December 2011
  • Region: Global
  • 328 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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In the modern world, extremism is a highly topical and rapidly growing field of scholarship and inquiry. Fundamentalist religions and radical political ideologies spread hatred and sponsor terror; cults prey on the vulnerable; pained adolescents wreak havoc on society; ethnic and cultural groups dehumanize others to the point of genocide. Understanding the social conditions and individual psychologies that facilitate these behaviours is one of humanity′s greatest challenges. The lack of stability that surrounds us – from economic crises to national conflicts to natural disasters– plays a definite role in promoting extremist behavior.  

Extremism and the Psychology of Uncertainty presents the most cutting edge scientific research on the relationship between uncertainty and extremism. Contributions from leading scholars in social psychology, developmental psychology, health psychology, social neuroscience, political psychology, leadership, and religion offer illuminating insights into the links between these phenomena. Accessible and thought–provoking,
Extremism and the Psychology of Uncertainty adds immeasurably to our understanding of the psychology behind a reality of everyday life in the twenty–first century.
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Notes on Contributors vii

Preface: From Uncertainty to Extremism xv
Michael A. Hogg and Danielle L. Blaylock

Part I: Theories and Concepts 1

1 The Need for Certainty as a Psychological Nexus for Individuals and Society 3
Arie W. Kruglanski and Edward Orehek

2 Self–Uncertainty, Social Identity, and the Solace of Extremism 19
Michael A. Hogg

3 Extremism Is Normal: The Roles of Deviance and Uncertainty in Shaping Groups and Society 36
Dominic Abrams

4 The Psychology of the Absurd: How Existentialists Addressed (and Succumbed to) Extremist Beliefs 55
Travis Proulx

5 Radical Worldview Defense in Reaction to Personal Uncertainty 71
Kees van den Bos and Annemarie Loseman

6 The Uncertainty–Threat Model of Political Conservatism 90
John T. Jost and Jaime L. Napier

Part II: Individuals and Groups 113

7 Dying to Be Popular: A Purposive Explanation of Adolescent Willingness to Endure Harm 115
Jason T. Siegel, William D. Crano, Eusebio M. Alvaro, Andrew Lac, David Rast, and Vanessa Kettering

8 The Extremism of Everyday Life: Fetishism as a Defense against Existential Uncertainty 131
Mark J. Landau, Zachary K. Rothschild, and Daniel Sullivan

9 Religious Zeal after Goal Frustration 147
Ian McGregor, Kyle A. Nash, and Mike Prentice

10 Dehumanization, Demonization, and Morality Shifting: Paths to Moral Certainty in Extremist Violence 165
Roger Giner–Sorolla, Bernhard Leidner, and Emanuele Castano

11 Light from Dark: Uncertainty and Extreme Positive Acts Toward the "Other" 183
Todd L. Pittinsky

Part III: Groups and Society 195

12 Uncertainty, Insecurity, and Ideological Defense of the Status Quo: The Extremitizing Role of Political Expertise 197
Christopher M. Federico and Grace M. Deason

13 Authoritarianism, Need for Closure, and Conditions of Threat 212
Jennifer L. Merolla, Jennifer M. Ramos, and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister

14 Constructing Extremism: Uncertainty Provocation and Reduction by Extremist Leaders 228
Viviane Seyranian

15 Collective Uncertainty and Extremism: A Further Discussion on the Collective Roots of Subjective Experience 246
Fathali M. Moghaddam and Karen Love

16 Uncertainty, and the Roots and Prevention of Genocide and Terrorism 263
Ervin Staub

Index 281

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Michael A. Hogg
Danielle L. Blaylock
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