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Is Extreme in the Eye of the Beholder? An Experimental Assessment of Extremist Cognitions

Shortland, N, Nader, E, Thompson, L and Palasinski, M (2020) Is Extreme in the Eye of the Beholder? An Experimental Assessment of Extremist Cognitions. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. ISSN 0886-2605

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Abstract

Scholars have extensively discussed the topic of “online radicalization,” often seeking to understand the form and function of online extremist material. However, this work has neglected to examine the role that the Internet plays alongside individual personality factors in the process through which someone develops violent extremist cognitions. This article aims to extend the understanding of the role of personality differences in the effect of exposure to extremist material online. In this study, we experimentally measure the short-term psychological consequences of exposure to extremist material on extremist cognitions. We use a between-group experimental design in which participants are shown extremist propaganda with either pre- or post-counter messages. Our results indicate that trait personality, and specifically aggression, may be more influential than exposure to extremist propaganda in influencing extremist cognitions. We discuss the implications of these results in the context of future research directions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an accepted for publication version of an article which can be found at: Shortland, N., Nader, E., Thompson, L. & Palasinski, M. Is Extreme in the Eye of the Beholder? An Experimental Assessment of Extremist Cognitions. Journal of Interpersonal Violence Copyright © 2020 The Authors. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0886260520958645
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1602 Criminology, 1607 Social Work, 1701 Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Divisions: Psychology (new Sep 2019)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2020 09:10
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2020 09:10
DOI or Identification number: 10.1177/0886260520958645
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13748

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