Yoel and Mickey welcome Professor of Psychology and Politics John Jost from New York University to the podcast. Author of the most influential political psychology paper of the last two decades, John talks about the role of psychology in politics and the role of politics in psychology. Is it fair to characterize conservatives as dogmatic, rigid, and close-minded? Given replication failures, are conservatives indeed more attuned to negative stimuli in their environments? Does the description of conservatives as resistant to change applicable in the Trump era? Should social scientists be advocates/activists, neutral fact-finders, or something in between? Why is the dominance of liberals in social psychology (and academia more broadly) not a problem?
Bonus: What is with all the homo-eroticism?
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- Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition — Analyzing political conservatism as motivated social cognition integrates theories of personality (authoritarianism, dogmatism—intolerance of ambiguity), epistemic and existential needs (for closure, regulatory focus, terror management), and ideological rationalization (social dominance, system justification).
- The Politics of Fear: Is There an Ideological Asymmetry in Existential Motivation? | Social Cognition — Although the association between fear of death and conservatism was not reliable, there was a significant effect of mortality salience (r = .08–.13) and a significant association between subjective perceptions of threat and conservatism (r = .12–.31).
- Ideological Asymmetries and the Essence of Political Psychology - Jost - 2017 - Political Psychology - Wiley Online Library — Individuals are not merely passive vessels of whatever beliefs and opinions they have been exposed to; rather, they are attracted to belief systems that resonate with their own psychological needs and interests, including epistemic, existential, and relational needs to attain certainty, security, and social belongingness.
- Ideological asymmetries in conformity, desire for shared reality, and the spread of misinformation. - PubMed - NCBI — Ideological belief systems arise from epistemic, existential, and relational motives to reduce uncertainty, threat, and social discord.
- Neoliberal Ideology and the Justification of Inequality in Capitalist Societies: Why Social and Economic Dimensions of Ideology Are Intertwined
- An Asymmetrical “President-in-Power” Effect | American Political Science Review | Cambridge Core — When political polarization is high, it may be assumed that citizens will trust the government more when the chief executive shares their own political views.
- A quarter century of system justification theory: Questions, answers, criticisms, and societal applications - Jost - 2019 - British Journal of Social Psychology - Wiley Online Library — A theory of system justification was proposed 25 years ago by Jost and Banaji (1994, Br. J. Soc. Psychol., 33, 1) in the British Journal of Social Psychology to explain ‘the participation by disadvantaged individuals and groups in negative stereotypes of themselves' and the phenomenon of outgroup favouritism.
- Do Needs for Security and Certainty Predict Cultural and Economic Conservatism? A Cross-National Analysis — We examine whether individual differences in needs for security and certainty predict conservative (vs. liberal) position on both cultural and economic political issues and whether these effects are conditional on nation-level characteristics and individual-level political engagement.
- Political Diversity in Social and Personality Psychology — A lack of political diversity in psychology is said to lead to a number of pernicious outcomes, including biased research and active discrimination against conservatives.
- The Ideology of Social Psychologists (and Why it Matters) | SPSP
- We tried to publish a replication of a Science paper in Science. The journal refused. — Our research suggests that the theory that conservatives and liberals respond differently to threats isn’t actually true.