This research examines how social networks contribute to the process of radicalization, building on work showing that obsessive (vs. harmonious) passion for a cause is linked to greater support for political violence. Study 1 (N = 331) shows that obsessive (vs. harmonious) passion is related to affiliating with radical (vs. moderate) social networks, which in turn is associated with support for political violence. Study 2 (N = 381) provides experimental evidence for this phenomenon, by showing that inducing an obsessive mindset produces a greater proclivity to connect with radical activists, which in turn is associated with greater support for political violence. Drawing from social network analysis, Study 3 (N = 366) shows that network density intensifies obsessively passionate individuals’ affiliation to radical networks. The results offer insight into the group processes behind radicalization across different cultural contexts and ideologies.
- social network
- violent extremism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science