“I Know that I don’t Know Anything”. Socio-Cognitive Antecedents of the Radicalization



Objective. Analysis of the relationship between loss of personal significance, intellectual humility, the need for cognitive closure, and support for radicalisation. Background. Psychological studies of the process of radicalization make a significant contribution to the explanation of this negative socio-political phenomenon. One of the questions from these studies is how cognitive rigidity is related to ideological extremism. Study design. The study examined the relationship between loss of personal significance, intellectual humility, and support for radical views mediated by the need for cognitive closure. The presence and nature of the relationship were checked using a path analysis performed in the AMOS 23 program. Participants. 365 residents from Russia (78.5% women), age from 20 to 66 years (M=42.11; SD=11.62). The majority of the sample has a higher education (94.1%), the rest have secondary or specialized secondary education. 41.8% of the respondents identified themselves as Christians, 17.8% as Agnostics, 11.7% as atheists, 10.1% as Muslims, the rest-as other faiths or chose to skip this item of the questionnaire. Measurements. Russian-language versions of the short scale of scales of the need for cognitive closure by D. Webber and A. Kruglansky; the scale of intellectual humility by M. Leary et al. and the scale of loss of personal significance. A questionnaire for assessing support for radical violence. Results. The direct effect of loss of personal importance on the support of radical views is mediated by the need for cognitive closure. The reverse effect of intellectual humility on the support of radical views is mediated by the need for cognitive completeness. Conclusions. The study demonstrates the significance of the “cognitive vulnerability” of supporting extremist ideology, which is extremely important for understanding the personal aspects of both radicalization and deradicalization.

General Information

Keywords: radicalization, extremism, need for cognitive closure, intellectual humility, cognitive rigidity

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/sps.2021120307

For citation: Khukhlaev O.E., Pavlova O.S. “I Know that I don’t Know Anything”. Socio-Cognitive Antecedents of the Radicalization . Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2021. Vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 87–102. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2021120307. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Oleg E. Khukhlaev, PhD in Psychology, Assistant Professor, Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Acre, Israel, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4620-9534, e-mail: huhlaevoe@mgppu.ru

Olga S. Pavlova, PhD in Education, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Cross-cultural Psychology and Multicultural Education, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9702-1550, e-mail: os_pavlova@mail.ru



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