The Influence of Perceived Threat and Political Mistrust on Politicized Identity and Normative and Violent Nonnormative Collective Action


  • Christian S. Chan
  • Robyn E. Gulliver
  • Arya Awale
  • Katy Y. Y. Tam
  • Winnifred R. Louis


The present research examined the interplay of social threat and political mistrust on collective action intentions in the context of Hong Kong social unrest. We investigated perceived social threat from a dominant outgroup and mistrust in the political system as two antecedents of politicized identity, and as indirect predictors of intentions to participate in normative and violent nonnormative collective action. Across two studies (Study 1: N = 398; Study 2: N = 200), we found that perceived social threat, political mistrust, and their interaction had positive significant associations with action intentions (Study 1) and an interactive association (Study 2) with politicized identity. Both studies indicated indirect effects of social threat and political mistrust on both normative and violent collective action intentions through politicized identity. Politicized identity and a broader Hong Kong identity were both directly associated with normative collective action intentions. However, only politicized identity was associated with violent collective action intentions.