Christopher Federico

Christopher Federico
University of Minnesota Twin Cities | UMN · Department of Psychology

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65
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Publications

Publications (65)
Article
Full-text available
Recent work suggests that collective narcissism—an exaggerated, unrealistic belief in an in-group’s greatness that demands constant external validation—is a reliable predictor of authoritarian-populist hostility toward democratic norms, processes, and outcomes. In the present study, we use a recent survey of American adults to examine the relations...
Article
Full-text available
Recent work suggests that collective narcissism—an exaggerated, unrealistic belief in an ingroup's greatness that demands constant external validation—is a strong predictor of a variety of political attitudes. In the present study, we use nationally representative panel data from Poland to examine the relationship between national collective narcis...
Article
Conspiracy belief intersects with the politics of social change in complex and sometimes contradictory ways. On one hand, social change is experienced as stressful by many, and it can generate feelings of uncertainty, insecurity, and loss of control that elicit beliefs that may impede needed change and even generate new problems. On the other hand,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent work suggests that collective narcissism—an exaggerated, unrealistic belief in an in-group’s greatness that demands constant external validation—is a reliable predictor of authoritarian-populist hostility toward democratic norms, processes, and outcomes. In the present study, we use a recent survey of American adults to examine the relations...
Article
Cultural change is theorized to generate intergroup hostility. Three experiments apply the Cultural Inertia Model to test the effects of change on intergroup relations. Two predictions of cultural inertia were tested: (a) cultures at rest tend to stay at rest and (b) individual difference variables function as psychological anchors. In static socie...
Article
Past research on moral dilemmas has thoroughly investigated the roles of personality and situational variables, but the role of targets in moral dilemmas has been relatively neglected. This article presents findings from four experiments that manipulated the perceived dehumanization of targets in moral dilemmas. Findings from Studies 1, 2, and 4 su...
Article
While many studies have investigated what predicts citizens’ vote preferences, less is known about what predicts change in citizens’ vote preferences over time. This paper focuses on the role of judgments about national economy in the recent past (i.e., “sociotropic economic retrospections”). Two longitudinal studies show that sociotropic economic...
Article
Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has achieved influence as a religious leader while also impacting political discussions through his teachings on social justice and environmental matters. In the United States, his teachings on these topics have generated some controversy among right‐leaning figures. In this study, I look at whether this con...
Article
Social scientists have devoted much attention to explaining individual and contextual variation in religiosity. Among other things, authoritarianism is reliably found to be associated with greater religiosity. Though education and human development are often thought to reduce religiosity, we show in this study that the relationship between authorit...
Article
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The objective prevalence of and subjective vulnerability to infectious diseases are associated with greater ingroup preference, conformity, and traditionalism. However, evidence directly testing the link between infectious diseases and political ideology and partisanship is lacking. Across four studies, including a large sample representative of th...
Preprint
The objective prevalence of and subjective vulnerability to infectious diseases are associated with greater in-group preference, conformity, and traditionalism. However, evidence directly testing the link between infectious diseases and political ideology and partisanship is lacking. Across four studies, including a large sample representative of t...
Article
Full-text available
The present study explored the antecedents of solidarity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Given that solidarity during mass emergencies involves the development of a social identity encompassing those facing a common fate, we examined how national in-group satisfaction (IS, a belief that the national in-group and one’s membership in it are of high value...
Article
Full-text available
According to social identity theory, low self-esteem motivates group members to derogate out-groups, thus achieving positive in-group distinctiveness and boosting self-esteem. According to the Frankfurt School and status politics theorists, low self-esteem motivates collective narcissism (i.e., resentment for insufficient external recognition of th...
Article
Full-text available
Ideological orientation may provide some citizens with an efficient heuristic for guiding their political judgment. Accordingly, one might expect that ideological uncertainty would lead individuals to engage more deeply with the political domain in order to acquire a sufficient level of subjective certainty that the ideological orientation they hav...
Article
How do individuals psychologically organize their images of the divine? Most work on this topic is factor‐analytic in nature, finding that God images vary with respect to love, judgment, and engagement. However, few studies look at how individuals spontaneously combine these divine dimensions into composite images of God. To fill this gap, we subje...
Article
Existing research on conflict framing in the news-media has focused disproportionately on political-party membership, where prior polarization between party elites implies strong pre-existing differences of opinion. To determine whether conflict framing can elicit polarization in the context of other important social identities, we compare the pola...
Article
Objective: To investigate how the relations between the Big Five personality traits and political preferences develop over a campaign. Method: We rely on a 6‐wave nationwide longitudinal survey from the 2008 U.S. election that included 20,000 respondents. Mean age: 49 (SD=15). 53% of respondents were women, 47% men. 82% were White, 8% Black, 6% His...
Article
Numerous studies have indicated that the need for closure predicts political preferences. We examined a potential moderator of this relationship: political-identity centrality, or the extent to which individuals’ political preferences are central to their self-concept. We tested three hypotheses. First, we predicted that need for closure would be m...
Article
Full-text available
Using data from a longitudinal study of American adults collected between July and November 2016, we examine the hypothesis that American collective narcissism would uniquely predict increases in conspiracy thinking during the 2016 presidential campaign. Going beyond previous findings, our results indicate that collective narcissism (but not in‐gro...
Article
Full-text available
Conspiracy theories about government officials and the institutions they represent are widespread, and span the ideological spectrum. In this study, we test hypotheses suggesting that system identity threat, or a perception that society's fundamental, defining values are under siege due to social change will predict conspiracy thinking. Across two...
Article
Research on the dispositional origins of political preferences is flourishing, and the primary conclusion drawn from this work is that stronger needs for security and certainty attract people to a broad-based politically conservative ideology. Though this literature covers much ground, most integrative assessments of it have paid insufficient atten...
Preprint
Full-text available
We present evidence from two studies that perceived numerical decline in the White popula-tion can be perceived as an extinction threat to Whites, which in turn leads to defensive reac-tions. In Study 1, we used correlational data to show that perceived extinction threat medi-ates the relationship between perceptions of White population decline and...
Article
Research on the relationship between the Big Five and prejudice suggests that low agreeableness and low openness to experience are the most consistent personality correlates of prejudice. However, research on this topic has not examined racial resentment (RR) among White Americans, an affectively charged hostility to Blacks rooted in the perception...
Article
In this article, we argue that authoritarianism will be associated with reduced political interest and participation to a greater extent among those who identify with the left rather than the right because left-leaning politics—which challenges the status quo—threatens more instability and flux. Using data from the United States, we provide evidenc...
Article
Moral foundations theory argues that morality encompasses both group-preserving binding concerns about in-group loyalty, authority and purity and individualizing concerns about harm avoidance and fairness. Although studies have examined the relationship between sociopolitical attitudes and the moral foundations, the relationship between individual...
Article
In this paper, we examine how the relationship between authoritarianism and partisanship is conditioned by education. Arguing against perspectives suggesting that authoritarianism is the province of the “unsophisticated,” we hypothesize that the relationship between education and Republican partisanship should be stronger among educated Americans....
Article
Full-text available
In the research reported here, we examined whether individual differences in authoritarianism have expressions in early childhood. We expected that young children would be more responsive to cues of deviance and status to the extent that their parents endorsed authoritarian values. Using a sample of 43 preschoolers and their parents, we found suppo...
Article
In this article, we look at how a key index of discomfort with uncertainty—the need for cognitive closure—interacts with perceived group status to influence a key antecedent of extremism: intergroup differentiation. Because high status provides people with a clear basis for superiority claims, we predicted that individuals with a high need for clos...
Article
According to moral foundations theory (Haidt & Joseph, 2004), five foundations are central to moral intuition. The two individualizing foundations—harm/care and fairness/reciprocity—hinge on the rights of the individual, whereas the three binding foundations—in-group/loyalty, authority/respect, and purity/sanctity—focus on communal bonds. Recent wo...
Article
Scholars have documented numerous examples of how liberals and conservatives differ in considering public policy. Recent work in political psychology has sought to understand these differences by detailing the ways in which liberals and conservatives approach political and social issues. In their moral foundations theory, Haidt and Joseph contend t...
Article
Research on the psychological bases of political attitudes tends to dwell on the attitudes of conservatives, rarely placing a conscious thematic emphasis on what motivates liberals to adopt the attitudes they do. This research begins to address this imbalance by examining whether the need for cognitive closure is equally associated with conservatis...
Article
Many studies have focused on the relationship between political information and the use of ideology. However, recent work suggests that the magnitude of this relationship may depend on whether citizens are motivated to evaluate objects they encounter. Expanding on previous work, we argue that (1) general investment of the self in politics and (2) e...
Article
Research on the basis of political ideology indicates that psychological variables influence ideological positions. In particular, the role of authoritarianism is of long-standing interest to political scholars. This article looks at how political expertise conditions the ideological implications of the authoritarian predisposition. Although theori...
Article
This article examines the conditions under which partisan identities shape the positions people express on four political values: equal opportunity, self-reliance, moral traditionalism, and moral tolerance. The theoretical framework posits that (1) party source cues activate latent partisan biases in the minds of citizens, which in turn affect the...
Article
Full-text available
The psychological bases of ideology have received renewed attention amid growing political polarization. Nevertheless, little research has examined how one’s understanding of political ideas might moderate the relationship between “pre-political” psychological variables and ideology. In this paper, we fill this gap by exploring how expertise influe...
Article
Full-text available
Much research suggests that political experts are more likely to structure attitudes toward different issues in an ideologically consistent fashion. Based on recent studies of motivational influences on social cognition, we hypothesize that only experts with a high need to evaluate—a strong motivation to establish evaluations of social objects—may...
Chapter
Political psychologists have long searched for links between citizens' personality characteristics and their political worldviews. In particular, much research has examined the relationship between epistemic motivation-the needs or motives that lead individuals to acquire and use information in order to construct a view of reality-and ideological s...
Article
Full-text available
Ideology has re-emerged as an important topic of inquiry among social, personality, and political psychologists. In this review, we examine recent theory and research concerning the structure, contents, and functions of ideological belief systems. We begin by defining the construct and placing it in historical and philosophical context. We then exa...
Article
In this study we use data from a 2004 New York Times/CBS News national survey to analyze public opinion toward a guest worker program and to compare predictors of support for guest worker and general immigration policies. In general, Americans tend to be divided in their attitudes toward a guest worker program, although support for temporary worker...
Article
Between 1990 and 2000, the foreign-born population in the United States increased by 57 per cent, compared to a 13 per cent increase in the native-born population. This growth has fueled considerable media attention and has fomented some anti-immigrant sentiments. Although a number of authors have charted changes in support for restrictionist immig...
Article
Full-text available
Three experimental studies demonstrate that momentarily accessible conflict-schemas moderate the relationship between need for closure and conflict-strategy preferences, with the relationship between a high need for closure and increased competitiveness reduced to non-significance when a cooperative conflict-schema is made salient but strengthened...
Article
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Because the political climate is often ridden with affect-inducing stimuli, it is important to understand the relationship between emotions and political cognition. Drawing from research in social psychology, this study is designed to specifically investigate how emotions from different sources (i.e., everyday life or the state of the nation) influ...
Article
Political psychologists have typically argued that ideological commitments are structured in a bipolar fashion, where a positive evaluation of conservative objects implies a negative evaluation of liberal objects (and vice versa). Individual differences in conformity to this pattern are usually attributed to an ability-related variable, i.e., polit...
Article
We examine whether two general dimensions of sociopolitical belief—right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO)—are rooted in insecure psychological attachment. Based on an undergraduate sample (N = 255), we model the relations among attachment styles, general worldviews, RWA, and SDO. A structural equation model indicat...
Article
Current work suggests that individualistic values are more likely to be invoked in judgments about welfare recipients when the latter are black. Nevertheless, this “racialization” hypothesis has yet to be directly tested by looking at whether generalized individualism is more strongly related to hostility toward welfare recipients among whites when...
Article
A growing body of research indicates that welfare attitudes may be strongly shaped by negative perceptions of Blacks. This raises questions about what might inhibit the racialization of welfare attitudes. In this vein, a long line of work indicating that education leads to increased tolerance suggests that the relationship between negative racial p...
Article
As both everyday experience and a wealth of social-scientific data attest, race continues to play an important role in conditioning not only individuals ' life outcomes, but also their social and political attitudes (Dawson, 1994; Kinder & Winter, 2001; Sears, Hetts, Sidanius, & Bobo, 2000; Tate, 1993). In particular, it is clear that identificatio...
Article
Full-text available
A variety of studies suggest that a high need for closure--that is, a desire for knowledge that is clear, stable, and unambiguous as opposed to confusing or uncertain--may be associated with greater hostility toward relevant outgroups. Using international attitudes as the context, the authors examine the hypothesis that the relationship between the...
Article
Recent work has implicated negative attitudes toward blacks in support for toughened criminal-justice measures. This suggests that the issue of crime may be implicitly “racialized,” despite a lack of overt racial content. The present study examines the hypothesis that education may weaken the relationship between negative racial perceptions and cri...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies examined the relationship between the need for cognitive closure and preferences for conflict-resolution strategies in 2 different samples of elite political actors. Although research has suggested that high need for closure should be associated with competitiveness, the authors argue that this relationship should be strongest among pol...
Article
Research on attitude extremity suggests that schemas containing more information about a particular attitude domain are more likely to be associated with extreme attitudes toward objects in that domain when perceivers' responses toward features of the domain are evaluatively integrated. The present study argues that a high need to evaluate may play...
Article
Recent research suggests that welfare attitudes may be shaped by negative perceptions of blacks, suggesting an implicit racialization of the policy. But what might inhibit the racialization of welfare? In this vein, research indicating that education facilitates tolerance suggests that negative racial perceptions and welfare attitudes may be less r...
Article
Theory and research suggest that members of high-status groups feel more positively about their own group than members of low-status groups feel about their group. The studies presented here test two hypotheses derived from this general idea (1) that members of high-status groups will show greater bias in favor of the in-group when they believe tha...
Article
Full-text available
A number of researchers have argued that the effects of prejudice on the racial policy attitudes and general political beliefs of white Americans may be restricted to the poorly educated and politically unsophisticated. In contrast, rather than being motivated by prejudice, the racial policy attitudes and ideological values of the politically sophi...
Article
Full-text available
In 2 studies, the antecedents and consequences of "principled objections" to affirmative action (specific, "race-neutral" reasons for opposing the policy) among Whites were examined. In Study 1. data from a probability sample of Los Angeles adults indicated the following: (a) that principled-objection endorsement was driven not merely by race-neutr...
Article
Full-text available
Based on both classical and contemporary perspectives on the psychology of legitimacy, it was hypothesized that the pattern of relationships between social dominance orientation (SDO) and favoritism for high-status groups would depend on the status of one’s group and the perceived legitimacy of the group-based status distinction. Among members of h...
Article
This paper examines the ideological asymmetry hypothesis with respect tothe interface between legitimizing ideologies and psychological attachment to one's ethnic group. The ideological asymmetry hypothesis suggests that hierarchy-enhancing legitimizing ideologies should be positively associated with ingroup attachment among high-status groups, but...

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We present evidence from two studies that perceived numerical decline in the White popula-tion can be perceived as an extinction threat to Whites, which in turn leads to defensive reac-tions. In Study 1, we used correlational data to show that perceived extinction threat medi-ates the relationship between perceptions of White population decline and defensive political reactions (i.e., racial biases and conservatism) among Whites. In Study 2, we replicate the results of Study 1 in an experiment by manipulating perceptions of White population decline and growth. Our results suggest that Whites’ perceptions of the ingroup’s numerical decline have a unique effect on their racial and political attitudes via heightened feelings of group-extinction threat.