Jocelyn J Bélanger

Jocelyn J Bélanger
New York University Abu Dhabi · Psychology

PhD

About

137
Publications
84,800
Reads
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2,965
Citations
Introduction
Assistant Professor of social psychology @NYUAbuDhabi who studies violent extremism, ideological obsession, deradicalization, and environmental sustainability. Lab website: https://www.jocelynbelanger.com/ TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EZ5zxU14zA&t
Additional affiliations
February 2020 - February 2023
Hedayah
Position
  • Research Associate
January 2014 - December 2015
Université du Québec à Montréal
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
June 2013 - June 2014
Sapienza University of Rome
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
August 2008 - May 2013
University of Maryland, College Park
Field of study
  • Social Psychology

Publications

Publications (137)
Article
Full-text available
Adventure and excitement have often been invoked to explain why people engage in political violence, yet empirical evidence on the topic has thus far been anecdotal. The present research sought to fill this gap in knowledge by examining the role of sensation seeking in political violence and integrating this concept with Significance Quest Theory (...
Article
Full-text available
The present research examines the social cognitive processes underlying ideologically-based violence through the lens of the 3N model of radicalization. To test this theory, we introduce two new psychometric instruments-a social alienation and a support for political violence scale-developed in collaboration with 13 subject matter experts on terror...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding what motivates people to join violent ideological groups and engage in acts of cruelty against others is of great social and societal importance. In this paper, I posit that one necessary element is ‘ideological obsession’—an ideological commitment fuelled by unmet psychological needs and regulated by inhibitory and ego-defensive mech...
Article
This research examines how social networks contribute to the process of radicalization, building on work showing that obsessive (vs. harmonious) passion for a cause is linked to greater support for political violence. Study 1 (N = 331) shows that obsessive (vs. harmonious) passion is related to affiliating with radical (vs. moderate) social network...
Article
This paper aims to study the process of violent radicalization in El Puche, a marginal neighborhood of Spain with a high percentage of disenfranchised Muslims. Particularly, we explore whether this neighborhood exhibits the factors proposed by the 3N model of radicalization: needs, networks, and narratives. We present two studies in which we analyz...
Article
This research examines how the relationship between passion for an ideology and violent activism is magnified by the personal (vs. collective) loss of significance. In Study 1 (N = 238), the relationship between obsessive (but not harmonious) passion for the Republican Party and violent activism was moderated by personal (but not collective) loss o...
Article
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
Full-text available
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
Food waste at the consumer level poses a global challenge for natural resources management and contributes to climate change. However, there is limited evidence regarding the best messaging strategies to fight household food waste. Here we experimentally test several food waste messages, aiming to identify the most effective strategies to promote i...
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
Objective: This research examines the interface between ideological passion and the dark tetrad personality traits to predict violent (vs. peaceful) political activism. Meta-analytic research shows that ideological obsessive passion (OP) is one of the strongest psychological factors associated with violent activism. Here, we examine whether this re...
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...
Article
Understanding how individual beliefs and societal values influence support for measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission is vital to developing and implementing effective prevention policies. Using both Just World Theory and Cultural Dimensions Theory, the present study considered how individual-level justice beliefs and country-level social valu...
Article
The current research examined the role of values in guiding people’s responses to COVID-19. Results from an international study involving 115 countries (N = 61,490) suggest that health and economic threats of COVID-19 evoke different values, with implications for controlling and coping with the pandemic. Specifically, health threats predicted prior...
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...
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...
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...
Article
Full-text available
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a global health crisis. Consequently, many countries have adopted restrictive measures that caused a substantial change in society. Within this framework, it is reasonable to suppose that a sentiment of societal discontent, defined as generalized concern about the precarious state of socie...
Article
Full-text available
Attachment theory is an ethological approach to the development of durable, affective ties between humans. We propose that secure attachment is crucial for understanding climate change mitigation, because the latter is inherently a communal phenomenon resulting from joint action and requiring collective behavioral change. Here, we show that priming...
Article
Full-text available
The current research examined the role of values in guiding people’s responses to COVID-19. Results from an international study involving 115 countries (N = 61,490) suggest that health and economic threats of COVID-19 evoke different values, with implications for controlling and coping with the pandemic. Specifically, health threats evoked prioriti...
Article
Full-text available
This paper makes a case for explaining diversity effects through cognitive factors as compared to demographic or other differences in backgrounds. We argue that studying perceived diversity in conjunction with diversity beliefs can explain positive and negative effects through a motivated opening or closing of the mind (Need for Cognitive Closure,...
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
Objective: This research examines the relationship between passion for a romantic partner and obsessive relational intrusion (ORI) which is defined as repeated and unwanted behaviors toward a partner that invade his/her personal privacy and cause fear for his/her safety. Method: Based on the dualistic model of passion (Vallerand, 2015), we predi...
Research
Full-text available
Prevención y afrontamiento de la radicalización violenta : Una guía para profesionales de primera línea
Article
Full-text available
Cross-societal differences in cooperation and trust among strangers in the provision of public goods may be key to understanding how societies are managing the COVID-19 pandemic. We report a survey conducted across 41 societies between March and May 2020 (N = 34,526), and test pre-registered hypotheses about how cross-societal differences in cooper...
Article
Full-text available
Background The effective implementation of government policies and measures for controlling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic requires compliance from the public. This study aimed to examine cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of trust in government regarding COVID-19 control with the adoption of recommended health behaviou...
Preprint
Cross-societal differences in cooperation and trust among strangers in the provision of public goods may be key to understanding how societies are managing the COVID-19 pandemic. We report a survey conducted across 41 societies between March and May 2020 (N = 34,526), and test pre-registered hypotheses about how cross-societal differences in cooper...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic presents threats, such as severe disease and economic hardship, to people of different ages. These threats can also be experienced asymmetrically across age groups, which could lead to generational differences in behavioral responses to reduce the spread of the disease. We report a survey conducted across 56 societies (N = 58,...
Article
Full-text available
The psychological mechanisms that lead terrorists to make costly sacrifices for their ideological convictions are of great theoretical and practical importance. We investigate two key components of this process: (1) the feeling of admiration toward ingroup members making costly self-sacrifices for their ideological group, and (2) identity fusion wi...
Preprint
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic presented a unique challenge to social and behavioral science. Until very recently, and for almost a year, behavioral (non-pharmaceutical) measures were the only tools available to fight the pandemic: wearing masks, frequent handwashing, and social distancing from crowds and private gatherings. Despite the life-saving potentia...
Article
Background Although there are increasing concerns on mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, no large-scale population-based studies have examined the associations of risk perception of COVID-19 with emotion and subsequent mental health. Methods : This study analysed cross-sectional and longitudinal data from the PsyCorona Survey that...
Article
The 3N model of radicalization proposes that violent radicalization is the result of the contribution of needs, networks, and narratives. Although research has mainly been supportive of this perspective, a substantial amount of ground remains uncovered regarding the network component of the model. Within this framework, we examine why individuals l...
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...
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
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...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this data visualization tool is twofold. First, it serves as a resource for researchers, analysts, and practitioners to understand people’s thoughts, feelings, and responses to the coronavirus as well as the extraordinary societal measures taken against it. Such knowledge could provide pilot data for researchers, inform current polic...
Article
Full-text available
Background: As of August 11, 2020, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has infected 19,936,210 persons and led to 732,499 deaths worldwide. The impact has been immense, and with no vaccine currently available, the best way to protect our communities is health education. We developed a brief COVID-19 knowledge test for health educators that can be u...
Article
The 3N model of radicalization proposes that violent radicalization is the result of the contribution of needs, networks, and narratives. Although research has mainly been supportive of this perspective, a substantial amount of ground remains uncovered regarding the network component of the model. Within this framework, we examine why individuals l...
Article
Political countermessages are communication strategies intended to discourage people from supporting violent political activism; however, it is unclear whether they are indeed effective. The purpose of this research was to address this gap by testing the influence of political countermessages on individuals with a passion for a cause. Four studies...
Preprint
Full-text available
Food waste at the consumer level poses a global challenge for natural resources management and contributes to climate change. However, there is limited evidence regarding the best messaging strategies to fight household food waste. Here we experimentally test several food waste messages, aiming to identify the most effective strategies to promote i...
Article
Full-text available
Mapping the Moods of COVID-19: Global Study Uses Data Visualization to Track Psychological Responses, Identify Targets for Intervention
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...
Article
The psychological determinants of place attachment have thus far been explored only to a limited extent. We propose that the bonds humans develop with other humans (attachment styles) are consequential to understand the bonds individuals develop with places and spaces (place attachment). We examined this hypothesis in four studies. Study 1 (N = 101...
Preprint
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...
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...
Preprint
Full-text available
Attachment is an ethological approach to the development of durable affective ties betweenhumans. We propose that secure attachment is crucial to understand climate change mitigationbecause the latter is inherently a communal phenomenon resulting from joint action, and requiring collective behavioral change. Here we show that secure (vs. insecure)...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this research is to experimentally test whether counter-narratives are effective to reduce people's support and willingness to join Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Integrating psychological reactance theory (Brehm, 1966) and need for closure (NFC; Kruglanski, 2004), we predicted that exposing people to counter-narratives when...
Article
Study Objectives The present research examines the relationship between people’s frequent involvement in an activity they like and find important (i.e., a passion) and the quality of their sleep. Research on the dualistic model of passion1-2 has widely documented the relationship between individual's type of passion—harmonious vs. obsessive—and the...
Article
We propose and demonstrate in 11 studies, including more than 4,700 observations, that the persuasiveness of a target message can be increased by the inclusion of a reactance decoy. A reactance decoy is a persuasive message presented before the target message and includes an attitude measurement toward the decoy object. The effect can be explained...