Need for affect, need for cognition, and the desire for independence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The last decade has witnessed a significant rise in European secessionist movements leading to considerable political turmoil (e.g., protest, repression, imprisonment of political leaders). While scholars have identified a number of economic and political factors that influence the support for secessionist movements, fewer studies have focused on its psychological roots. Using evidence from Catalonia, this paper investigates the role of two fundamental individual traits, Need for Affect (NFA) and Need for Cognition (NFC), in influencing the support for Catalan independence. It analyzes a large representative sample of adult Catalans in 2013, during the peak of the secessionist movement, to examine the influence of NFA and NFC, and their interaction, on the intention to vote in favor of seceding from Spain. Results indicate that individuals who have high levels in NFA and those who have high levels of NFA and low levels of NFC are more likely to support independence. In other words, individuals who have low levels of both NFA and NFC have the lowest support for independence. In conclusion, these findings highlight the importance of considering individual differences in psychological motives in order to fully understand support for secessionist movements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0280457
JournalPloS one
Issue number2 February
StatePublished - Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Need for affect, need for cognition, and the desire for independence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this