Does Extreme Political Ideology Predict Conspiracy Beliefs, Economic Evaluations and Political Trust? Evidence From Sweden

Andre Krouwel, Yordan Kutiyski, Jan-Willem van Prooijen, Johan Martinsson, Elias Markstedt

Abstract


A large volume of academic research has demonstrated that individuals who profess radical political ideology, both left- and right-wing, tend to share similar underlying psychological patterns. By utilizing data collected through a voting advice application in Sweden, this study aims to assess whether extreme leftists and rightists share similarities in the psychological and political understanding of how society functions. We propose three hypotheses to test this pattern: Extreme left and right individuals are more inclined to believe in conspiracy theories than moderates; they are more likely to have negative economic evaluations; and they are less politically and interpersonally trustful. By means of hierarchical regression analyses, we reveal a quadratic relationship between extreme political ideology and conspiracy beliefs. Moreover, we find a similar linkage between ideology and economic evaluations. However, the empirical analyses fail to provide evidence that extreme ideology is related to lower political and interpersonal trust.

Keywords


political ideology; economic evaluations; trust, conspiracy belief, extremism

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https://doi.org/10.5964/jspp.v5i2.745

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Citations:

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    Evidence of decreased system justification among extreme conservatives in non-American samples
    The Journal of Social Psychology, p. 1(ff.)
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  • Jan-Willem van Prooijen, André P. M. Krouwel (2019)
    Psychological Features of Extreme Political Ideologies
    Current Directions in Psychological Science, 28(2), p. 159(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721418817755
  • Ashley Jardina, Michael Traugott (2019)
    The Genesis of the Birther Rumor: Partisanship, Racial Attitudes, and Political Knowledge
    The Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, 4(1), p. 60(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1017/rep.2018.25
  • Boban Petrović, Janko Međedović, Olivera Radović, Sanja Radetić Lovrić (2019)
    Conspiracy mentality in post-conflict societies: Relations with the ethos of conflict and readiness for reconciliation
    Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 15(1), p. 59(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.5964/ejop.v15i1.1695
  • Yordan Kutiyski, André Krouwel, Jan-Willem van Prooijen (2019)
    Political extremism and distrust
    The Social Science Journal
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  • Tyler Bernadyn, Keith A. Feigenson (2018)
    Data gathering ability contributes to visual organization and probabilistic reasoning
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    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00582
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    Understanding Conspiracy Theories
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