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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Medium Size meeting: The psychology of political ideology: Insights from intergroup approaches

Thursday, 23.06.2016 til Sunday, 26.06.2016
Oppurg, Germany

Organisers: Jutta Proch & Thomas Kessler
Contact: Jutta Proch at

The aim of the EASP medium sized meeting is to bring together researchers who are interested in the tricky relation between political ideology and psychological processes. One main question is whether psychological dispositions filter and constrain political attitudes.

Important insights into this question have been made by focusing on the relation between individual differences in the psychological disposition of people (e.g., rigidity, risk aversion) and their susceptibility to particular ideological content. We attempt to complement such a hitherto emphasis on individual dispositions, by focusing on political ideology through the lenses of intergroup approaches. Are ideologies also shaped by group processes, such as group identities, ingroup cohesion and transmission biases?

Moreover, in recent years, research on individual differences between conservatives and liberals has been criticized as “politicized psychology” and wishful thinking. Here, we may discuss the potential of group processes on biased perceptions and perspective divergences as well as their effect on social and political psychological research itself. We also would like to discuss meta-theoretical questions, such as how to take researcher’s potential biases into account, and whether unbiased political psychological theory is possible.

The format of this medium-size meeting is single-session, with a strong focus on intensive discussion of unresolved underlying issues reflected in the schedule.