Supporting political violence: The role of ideological passion and social network

Jocelyn J. Bélanger, Blaine G. Robbins, Hayat Muhammad, Manuel Moyano, Claudia F. Nisa, Birga M. Schumpe, Michelle Blaya-Burgo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1187-1203
Number of pages17
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Volume23
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • passion
  • radicalization
  • social network
  • violent extremism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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