Political ideology: Its structure, functions, and elective affinities

John T. Jost, Christopher M. Federico, Jaime L. Napier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Ideology has re-emerged as an important topic of inquiry among social, personality, and political psychologists. In this review, we examine recent theory and research concerning the structure, contents, and functions of ideological belief systems. We begin by defining the construct and placing it in Instorical and philosophical context. We then examine different perspectives on how many (and what types of) dimensions individuals use to organize their political opinions. We investigate (a) how and to what extent individuals acquire the discursive contents associated with various ideologies, and (b) the social-psychological functions that these ideologies serve for those who adopt them. Our review highlights "elective affinities" between situational and dispositional needs of individuals and groups and the structure and contents of specific ideologies. Finally, we consider the consequences of ideology, especially with respect to attitudes, evaluations, and processes of system justification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-337
Number of pages31
JournalAnnual Review of Psychology
Volume60
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

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Psychology
Group Structure
Personality
Research

Keywords

  • Authoritarianism
  • Motivated social cognition
  • Political orientation
  • System justification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Political ideology : Its structure, functions, and elective affinities. / Jost, John T.; Federico, Christopher M.; Napier, Jaime L.

In: Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 60, 01.2009, p. 307-337.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jost, John T. ; Federico, Christopher M. ; Napier, Jaime L. / Political ideology : Its structure, functions, and elective affinities. In: Annual Review of Psychology. 2009 ; Vol. 60. pp. 307-337.
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