Extremism in society is the source of enormous human suffering and represents a significant social problem. This issue of the Journal of Social Issues assembles a set of 11 empirical and theoretical articles from leading social psychologists to examine the psychological relationship between uncertainty and extremism. The key question that is examined is whether, to what extent and in what fashion do feelings of uncertainty lead people to behave individually or collectively in ways that can be considered extremist does uncertainty play a causal role in zealotry, fundamentalism, attitudinal rigidity, ideological orthodoxy, intolerance of dissent, violent social disruption, authoritarian leadership, and so forth.
Uncertainty and the Roots of ExtremismMichael A. Hogg, Arie Kruglanski, and Kees van den Bos
SECTION I: CONCEPTUAL ANALYSES
Commitment and Extremism: A Goal Systemic AnalysisKristen M. Klein and Arie W. Kruglanski
Uncertainty Identity Theory: Extreme Groups, Radical Behavior, and Authoritarian Leadership 436Michael A. Hogg and Janice Adelman
A Raw Deal: Heightened Liberalism Following Exposure to Anomalous Playing CardsTravis Proulx and Brenda Major
Uncertainty and Status–Based Asymmetries in the Distinction Between the Good Us and the Bad Them: Evidence That Group Status Strengthens the Relationship Between the Need for Cognitive Closure and Extremity in Intergroup DifferentiationChristopher M. Federico, Corrie V. Hunt, and Emily L. Fisher
SECTION II: CULTURE AND MIGRATION
Culture and ExtremismMichele J. Gelfand, Gary LaFree, Susan Fahey, and Emily Feinberg
Uncertainty, Threat, and the Role of the Media in Promoting the Dehumanization of Immigrants and RefugeesVictoria M. Esses, Stelian Medianu, and Andrea S. Lawson
SECTION III: IDEOLOGY, POLITICS AND RELIGION
Anxious Uncertainty and Reactive Approach Motivation (RAM) for Religious, Idealistic, and Lifestyle ExtremesIan McGregor, Mike Prentice, and Kyle Nash
Compensatory Control and Its Implications for Ideological ExtremismAaron C. Kay and Richard P. Eibach
Determinants of Radicalization of Islamic Youth in the Netherlands: Personal Uncertainty, Perceived Injustice, and Perceived Group ThreatBertjan Doosje, Annemarie Loseman, and Kees van den Bos
A Millennial Challenge: Extremism in Uncertain TimesSusan T. Fiske
Issues in Progress
Impact Validity as a Framework for Advocacy–Based ResearchSean G. Massey & Ricardo E. Barreras
Ethnic–racial Stigma and Physical Health Disparities in the United States of America: From Psychological Theory and Evidence to Public Policy SolutionsLuis M. Rivera & Danielle Beatty
MichaelA. Hogg is Professor of Social Psychology at Claremont Graduate University and president of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. He is the 2010 recipient of the Diener mid–career award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology; foundation editor of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations; former associate editor of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology; and a fellow of numerous scholarly associations including the Association for Psychological Science and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. His extensively published research on social identity theory, group processes and intergroup relations, has a recent focus on influence and leadership, and uncertainty and extremism.
Arie W. Kruglanski is a Distinguished University Professor and co–director of START (National Center for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism) at the University of Maryland, College Park. Kruglanski is a recipient of the National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Award, the Senior Humboldt Award, the Donald Campbell Award for Outstanding Contributions to Social Psychology, and the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. He has served as editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and associate editor of the American Psychologist. Kruglanski′s research focuses on human judgment and decision making, the motivation–cognition >interface, and group and intergroup processes. It has been disseminated in over 250 publications, and has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health, among others.