Iris Žeželj

Iris Žeželj
University of Belgrade · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

133
Publications
67,642
Reads
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1,196
Citations
Introduction
I am currently preoccupied with irrational/epistemologically suspect beliefs, especially in the domain of health, and their relation to questionable health practices that can be deceptive or downright dangerous.
Additional affiliations
July 2016 - December 2016
University of Belgrade
Position
  • Principal Investigator
Description
  • Building regional excellence in social identity and intergroup research
June 2016 - present
University of Belgrade
Position
  • MC member
Description
  • Comparative Analysis of Conspiracy Theories
September 2014 - July 2016
University of Belgrade
Position
  • Principal Investigator
Description
  • Correlates of complex and inclusive social identities in Western Balkan youth (www.sibyouth.org)

Publications

Publications (133)
Article
Direct contact between members of ethnic groups is proven to reduce intergroup prejudice. Recent research, however, explores the effects of alternative types of contact, amongst them via social networks in virtual space. This is especially important for e.g. post-conflict societies in which there is limited opportunity for direct contact between th...
Chapter
Full-text available
The post-conflict generation experiences ethno-religious identity as being thrust upon them, regardless of how much they care about belonging to such groups. Language and physical barriers segregate groups; in addition, one ethnic group in each nation is promoted above others in constitutions and political rhetoric. Because religious groups and eth...
Article
Full-text available
There is evidence that not only believing in one conspiracy theory (CT) makes a person more probable to believe in others, however unrelated their content is, but that people can even believe in contradictory CTs about a single event. After piloting locally relevant conspiracy theories on a convenient Serbian speaking sample (N = 152), we sought to...
Preprint
In the coronavirus “infodemic”, people are exposed to both official recommendations and to potentially dangerous pseudoscientific advice claimed to protect against COVID-19. We examined whether irrational beliefs predict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines as well as susceptibility to such misinformation. Irrational beliefs were indexed by cognitive i...
Preprint
Full-text available
This is the accepted version of the article: Lazić, A., & Žeželj, I. (2021). A systematic review of narrative interventions: Lessons for countering anti-vaccination conspiracy theories and misinformation. Public Understanding of Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/09636625211011881 Even if a small portion of the population refuses vaccination due to a...
Preprint
Objective: We aimed to describe how Serbian online media cover the topic of traditional, complementary, and alternative medicine (TM/CAM). Methods: We conducted a content analysis of 182 articles from six news and six magazine websites, published July–December 2021. Results: Biologically based treatments, predominantly herbal products framed as Ser...
Article
Full-text available
The study of moral judgements often centres on moral dilemmas in which options consistent with deontological perspectives (that is, emphasizing rules, individual rights and duties) are in conflict with options consistent with utilitarian judgements (that is, following the greater good based on consequences). Greene et al. (2009) showed that psychol...
Article
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Previous work has reported a relation between pathogen-avoidance motivations and prejudice toward various social groups, including gay men and lesbian women. It is currently unknown whether this association is present across cultures, or specific to North America. Analyses of survey data from adult heterosexuals ( N = 11,200) from 31 countries show...
Article
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The present paper examines longitudinally how subjective perceptions about COVID-19, one’s community, and the government predict adherence to public health measures to reduce the spread of the virus. Using an international survey ( N = 3040), we test how infection risk perception, trust in the governmental response and communications about COVID-19...
Article
Full-text available
People differ in their general tendency to endorse conspiracy theories (that is, conspiracy mentality). Previous research yielded inconsistent findings on the relationship between conspiracy mentality and political orientation, showing a greater conspiracy mentality either among the political right (a linear relation) or amongst both the left and r...
Article
Full-text available
Before vaccines for COVID-19 became available, a set of infection prevention behaviors constituted the primary means to mitigate the virus spread. Our study aimed to identify important predictors of this set of behaviors. Whereas social and health psychological theories suggest a limited set of predictors, machine learning analyses can identify cor...
Article
Full-text available
Anxiety associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and home confinement has been associated with adverse health behaviors, such as unhealthy eating, smoking, and drinking. However, most studies have been limited by regional sampling, which precludes the examination of behavioral consequences associated with the pandemic at a global level. Further, few s...
Article
Rationale Belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories can have severe consequences; it is therefore crucial to understand this phenomenon, in its similarities with general conspiracy belief, but also in how it is context-dependent. Objective The aim of this systematic review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the available research on COVID-19 c...
Article
Understanding the determinants of COVID-19 vaccine uptake is important to inform policy decisions and plan vaccination campaigns. The aims of this research were to: (1) explore the individual- and country-level determinants of intentions to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, and (2) examine worldwide variation in vaccination intentions. This cross-s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Health care policies often rely on public cooperation, especially during a health crisis. However, a crisis is also a period of uncertainty and proliferation of health related advice: while some people adhere to the official recommendations, others tend to avoid them and resort to non-evidence based, pseudoscientific practices. People prone to the...
Article
Full-text available
In territorial interethnic conflicts people often claim exclusive land ownership for their ingroup. However, they can also view the ingroup and outgroup as entitled to the land. It is unknown what explains such shared ownership perceptions and how these in turn inform opinions about conflict resolution. We focused on different types of collective v...
Article
Full-text available
Tightening social norms is thought to be adaptive for dealing with collective threat yet it may have negative consequences for increasing prejudice. The present research investigated the role of desire for cultural tightness, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, in increasing negative attitudes towards immigrants. We used participant-level data from...
Preprint
Full-text available
Resorting to complementary/alternative medical (CAM) therapies can lead to bad health outcomes or interfere with officially recommended therapies. CAM use is, nevertheless, widespread and growing. This could be partially due to the perception of the CAM industry as powerless and non-profit oriented, in contrast to the pharmaceutical industry (“Big...
Article
During the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. conservative politicians and the media downplayed the risk of both contracting COVID-19 and the effectiveness of recommended health behaviors. Health behavior theories suggest perceived vulnerability to a health threat and perceived effectiveness of recommended health-protective behaviors dete...
Preprint
The news media can influence how the public and policymakers feel about vaccination. Perhaps under the impression that such messages can be fear-inducing and thus mobilizing, the media often laments low immunization rates. This could, however, activate a powerful descriptive social norm (“many people are not getting vaccinated”) and may be especial...
Article
Full-text available
Territorial ownership claims are central to many interethnic conflicts and can constitute an obstacle to conflict resolution and reconciliation. However, people in conflict areas might also have a perception that the territory simultaneously belongs to one’s ingroup and the rival outgroup. We expected such perceptions of shared ownership to be rela...
Article
Full-text available
People tend to simultaneously accept mutually exclusive beliefs. If they are generally prone to tolerate inconsistencies, irrespective of their content, we say they are prone to doublethink. We developed a measure to capture individual differences in this tendency and demonstrated its construct and predictive validity across two studies. In Study 1...
Article
What role does intergroup contact play in promoting support for social change toward greater social equality? Drawing on the needs-based model of reconciliation, we theorized that when inequality between groups is perceived as illegitimate, disadvantaged group members will experience a need for empowerment and advantaged group members a need for ac...
Article
Full-text available
Even if a small portion of the population refuses vaccination due to anti-vaccination conspiracy theories or misinformation, this poses a threat to public health. We argue that addressing conspiracy theories with only corrective information is not enough. Instead, considering that they are complex narratives embedded in personal and cultural worldv...
Preprint
Full-text available
Belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories can have severe consequences; it is therefore crucial to understand this phenomenon. We present a narrative synthesis of COVID-19 conspiracy belief research from 85 international articles, identified and appraised through a systematic review. We identify a number of significant antecedents of COVID-19 conspira...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this study, we further explored the validity of a novel psychological construct-Ethnic identity delegitimization (EIDL), a general tendency to question the legitimacy of ethnic groups that have been existing shorter than one's ethnic ingroup. Since it is based on historicity (i.e., the length of a group's existence), we tested its discriminative...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines whether compliance with COVID-19 mitigation measures is motivated by wanting to save lives or save the economy (or both), and which implications this carries to fight the pandemic. National representative samples were collected from 24 countries (N = 25,435). The main predictors were (1) perceived risk to contract coronavirus, (...
Article
Full-text available
Introducing a concept of perceived dual identity integration (PDII), we test whether, for biculturals to act as agateway group (GG), their identities should be viewed as blended/harmonized by the majority. We provide correlational evidence that PDII underlies the relation between perception of GG (people of Serb-Bosniak origin) as dually identified...
Article
Full-text available
In two post-conflict societies (Serbia and Cyprus), the authors investigated how people cope with in-group historical transgression when heroes and villains relevant for their collective identity are made salient in it. The authors set the events in foundational periods for Serbian (Experiment 1) and Greek Cypriot (Experiment 2) ethnic identity-tha...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Sense of shared group membership can be a powerful socio-psychological tool in mobilising large numbers of people and buffering against uncertainty during a societal crisis. We investigated if ethnic identity can prove as such a resource in preserving emotional well-being and building solidarity to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Using correlational...
Preprint
Full-text available
Amidst the flow of conspiracy theories (CTs) about the coronavirus pandemic, many logically incompatible ones arise. Upon pretesting for familiarity and logical incompatibility, we choose eight pairs of contradictory CTs. Across two studies, we observed a significant portion of respondents (40%-48%) endorsed at least one pair. In Study 1 (N = 290),...
Article
Full-text available
Conspiracy mentality is a general tendency to attribute significant events to the actions of malevolent actors, without referencing to a specific event. In two independent representative surveys of adult Serbian citizens (N1 = 1194; N2 = 1258) we validated Serbian version of the conspiracy mentality questionnaire (CMQ), a reasonably content-free to...
Article
Full-text available
In the coronavirus "infodemic", people are exposed to official recommendations but also to potentially dangerous pseudoscientific advice claimed to protect against COVID-19. We examined whether irrational beliefs predict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines as well as susceptibility to such misinformation. Irrational beliefs were indexed by belief in C...
Article
Full-text available
Research suggests that belief in conspiracy theories (CT) stems from basic psychological mechanisms and is linked to other belief systems (e.g. religious beliefs). While previous research has extensively examined individual and contextual variables associated with CT beliefs, it has not yet investigated the role of culture. In the current research,...
Preprint
Full-text available
COVID-19 conspiracy theories emerged almost immediately after the beginning of the pandemic, and the number of believers does not appear to decline. Believing in these theories can negatively affect adherence to safety guidelines and vaccination intentions, potentially endangering the lives of many. Thus, one part in successfully fighting the pande...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Coronavirus is highly infectious and potentially deadly. In the absence of a cure or a vaccine, the infection prevention behaviors recommended by the World Health Organization constitute the only measure that is presently available to combat the pandemic. The unprecedented impact of this pandemic calls for swift identification of factors most i...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this work, we study how social contacts and feelings of solidarity shape experiences of loneliness during the COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020. We draw on cross-national data, collected across four time points between mid-March until early May 2020. We situate our work within the public debate on these issues and discuss to what extent the public...
Preprint
Full-text available
Although several scholars acknowledge the existence of tears of joy, there is little systematic theoretical or empirical evidence on how positive tears are experienced, what elicits them, what actions or impulses they motivate in the crier, how they differ from tears of sadness or distress and whether there are different types. We systematically in...
Preprint
Full-text available
According to health behavior theories, perceived vulnerability to a health threat and perceived effectiveness of recommended health-protective behaviors determine motivation to follow these recommendations. Because the U.S. President Trump and U.S. conservative politicians downplayed the risk and seriousness of contracting COVID-19 and the effectiv...
Article
Full-text available
The PsyCorona collaboration is a research project to examine processes involved in the COVID-19 pandemic, such as behavior that curbs virus transmission, which may implicate social norms, cooperation, and self-regulation. The study also examines psychosocial consequences of physical distancing strategies and societal lockdown, such as frustration o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Repository of Psychological Instruments in Serbian (REPOPSI; https://osf.io/5zb8p/), run by the Laboratory for Research of Individual Differences at the University of Belgrade and hosted on the Open Science Framework, is an open-access repository of psychological instruments. REPOPSI is a collection of over 130 instruments (e.g., scales, tests)...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research suggests that belief in conspiracy theories (CT) stems from basic psychological mechanisms and is linked to other belief systems (e.g. religious beliefs). While previous research has extensively examined individual and contextual variables associated with CT beliefs, it has not yet investigated the role of culture. In the current research,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The so-called "socio-psychological infrastructure of conflict" (SPIC, Bar-Tal, 2007), as a shared cognitive-affective repertoire, psychologically prepares groups for participation in the conflict. The same repertoire, however, poses an obstacle for reconciliation after its resolution. Relying on SPIC as an analytical framework, we compared Croatian...
Technical Report
Full-text available
https://psychosocialinnovation.net/en/publications/radicalization-and-violent-extremism/
Article
Shnabel and Nadler (2008) assessed a needs-based model of reconciliation suggesting that in conflicts, victims and perpetrators have different psychological needs that when satisfied increase the chances of reconciliation. For instance, Shnabel and Nadler found that after a conflict, perpetrators indicated that they had a need for social acceptance...
Article
Full-text available
Across three studies, LoBue and DeLoache (2008) provided evidence suggesting that both young children and adults exhibit enhanced visual detection of evolutionarily relevant threat stimuli (as compared with nonthreatening stimuli). A replication of their Experiment 3, conducted by Cramblet Alvarez and Pipitone (2015) as part of the Reproducibility...
Article
Full-text available
Mapping the Moods of COVID-19: Global Study Uses Data Visualization to Track Psychological Responses, Identify Targets for Intervention
Article
Full-text available
Collective psychological ownership refers to people’s perception that an object, place, or idea belongs to their own group. We considered this concept in the context of territorial conflicts and proposed that (1) collective psychological ownership is distinct from place attachment, (2) higher ingroup identifiers are more likely to claim collective...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper examines whether compliance with COVID-19 mitigation measures is motivated by wanting to save lives or save the economy (or both), and which implications this carries to fight the pandemic. National representative samples were collected from 24 countries (N=25,435). The main predictors were (i) perceived risk to contract coronavirus, (ii...
Preprint
Full-text available
Previous studies suggested that public trust in government is vital for implementations of social policies that rely on public's behavioural responses. This study examined associations of trust in government regarding COVID-19 control with recommended health behaviours and prosocial behaviours. Data from an international survey with representative...
Article
Full-text available
Intergroup contact is repeatedly proven to lead to better intergroup attitudes. We sought to explore a new path through which this happens. We propose that contact can enhance inclusiveness of social identity, the recognition of common features needed to perceive someone as an in‐group member even though not all characteristics are shared. This, in...
Article
Full-text available
Guided by the early findings of social scientists, practitioners have long advocated for greater contact between groups to reduce prejudice and increase social cohesion. Recent work, however, suggests that intergroup contact can undermine support for social change towards greater equality, especially among disadvantaged group members. Using a large...
Preprint
Full-text available
What role does intergroup contact play in promoting support for social change toward greater equality? Drawing on the needs-based model of reconciliation, we theorized that when inequality between groups is perceived as illegitimate, disadvantaged groups members will experience a need for empowerment and advantaged groups members a need for accepta...
Chapter
In this chapter, we review research and theorising on the antecedents and consequences of conspiracy stereotypes of social groups. One of the defining characteristics of conspiracy theories is a conviction about secretive malevolent actions of multiple actors: most conspiracy theories assume that a powerful outgroup meets and plots against one's in...
Article
Full-text available
Although children start to adopt gender stereotypes by the age of three, there is less evidence about how early they start to sanction other children’s counter-stereotypical behaviors. The present study explored the two processes in a single design, comparing younger/older preschool boys and girls and using a two-task procedure involving (a) catego...