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Extremism and the Psychology of Uncertainty

Extremism and the Psychology of Uncertainty

Michael A. Hogg (Editor), Danielle L. Blaylock (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-444-34405-9

Sep 2011, Wiley-Blackwell

336 pages



Extremism and the Psychology of Uncertainty showcases cutting-edge scientific research on the extent to which uncertainty may lead to extremism. Contributions come from leading international scholars who focus on a wide variety of forms, facets and manifestations of extremist behavior.
  • Systematically integrates and explores the growing diversity of social psychological perspectives on the uncertainty extremism relationship
  • Showcases contemporary cutting edge scientific research from leading international scholars
  • Offers a broad perspective on extremism and focuses on a wide variety of different forms, facets and manifestations
  • Accessible to social and behavioral scientists, policy makers and those with a genuine interest in understanding the psychology of extremism
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