The association between threat and politics simultaneously depends on the type of threat, the political domain, and the country

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Abstract

Theories link threat with right-wing political beliefs. We use the World Values Survey (60,378 participants) to explore how six types of threat (e.g., economic, violence, and surveillance) are associated with multiple political beliefs (e.g., cultural, economic, and ideological identification) in 56 countries/territories. Multilevel models with individuals nested in countries revealed that the threat-political belief association depends on the type of threat, the type of political beliefs, and the country. Economic-related threats tended to be associated with more left-wing economic political beliefs and violence-related threats tended to be associated with more cultural right-wing beliefs, but there were exceptions to this pattern. Additional analyses revealed that the associations between threat and political beliefs were different across countries. However, our analyses identified few country characteristics that could account for these cross-country differences. Our findings revealed that political beliefs and perceptions of threat are linked, but that the relationship is not simple.
Keywords: Ideology, Belief Systems, Threat, Culture
Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

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