System-based emotions in Turkey and support for versus opposition to the Gezi Park protests

Nevin Solak, Nebi Sümer, Özden Melis Uluğ, John T. Jost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research on system justification theory has found that ideological justification of the status quo is associated with increased positive emotion and decreased negative emotion and, consequently, a lack of support for system-challenging protest. However, almost all of this research has been conducted in “WEIRD” (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic) countries. Here we investigated the role of system-level emotions in mediating the negative association between system justification and collective action in the authoritarian political context of Turkey. We hypothesized that system justification would be associated with opposition to system-challenging collective action, and the association would be mediated by system-level emotions, even after adjusting for individual- and group-level emotions. These hypotheses were investigated in studies involving university students (Study 1, N = 132) and two community samples recruited during the Gezi Park protests of 2013 (Study 2, N = 256; Study 3, N = 1024). In all three studies, system justification was associated with fewer negative system-level emotions and less support for protests against the status quo. These findings demonstrate that ideological processes associated with system justification—both directly and indirectly, through system-level emotional processes—undermine support for social change and promote social stability, even in a highly repressive political context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-1014
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Gezi Park protests
  • Turkey
  • collective action
  • emotion
  • system justification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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