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Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition

Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition Analyzing political conservatism as motivated social cognition integrates theories of personality (authoritarianism, dogmatism-intolerance of ambiguity), epistemic and existential needs (for closure, regulatory focus, terror management), and ideological rationalization (social dominance, system justification). A meta-analysis (88 samples, 12 countries, 22,818 cases) confirms that several psychological variables predict political conservatism: death anxiety (weighted mean r =.50); system instability (.47); dogmatism-intolerance of ambiguity (.34); openness to experience (−.32); uncertainty tolerance (−.27); needs for order, structure, and closure (.26); integrative complexity (−.20); fear of threat and loss (.18); and self-esteem (−.09). The core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and justification of inequality and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dispositionally to manage uncertainty and threat. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychological Bulletin American Psychological Association

Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition

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Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0033-2909
eISSN
1939-1455
DOI
10.1037/0033-2909.129.3.339
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Analyzing political conservatism as motivated social cognition integrates theories of personality (authoritarianism, dogmatism-intolerance of ambiguity), epistemic and existential needs (for closure, regulatory focus, terror management), and ideological rationalization (social dominance, system justification). A meta-analysis (88 samples, 12 countries, 22,818 cases) confirms that several psychological variables predict political conservatism: death anxiety (weighted mean r =.50); system instability (.47); dogmatism-intolerance of ambiguity (.34); openness to experience (−.32); uncertainty tolerance (−.27); needs for order, structure, and closure (.26); integrative complexity (−.20); fear of threat and loss (.18); and self-esteem (−.09). The core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and justification of inequality and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dispositionally to manage uncertainty and threat.

Journal

Psychological BulletinAmerican Psychological Association

Published: May 1, 2003

References