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Internal and external threat in relationship with right-wing attitudes

Onraet, Emma, Van Hiel, Alain, Dhont, Kristof, Pattyn, Sven (2013) Internal and external threat in relationship with right-wing attitudes. Journal of Personality, 81 (3). pp. 233-248. ISSN 0022-3506. E-ISSN 1467-6494. (doi:10.1111/jopy.12011) (KAR id:42754)

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Previous studies on the relationship between threat and right-wing attitudes have tended to focus on either internal threat, emanating from one's private life, or external threat, originating from society. However, these studies failed to examine whether these types of threats constitute two distinctive dimensions and which of these threats is most closely related to right-wing attitudes.


In order to explore the dimensions underlying threat, a factor analysis on a variety of threat scales was conducted (Study 1; N?=?300). Furthermore, in a meta-analysis (Study 2; total N?=?22,086) and a questionnaire study in a large representative sample (Study 3, N?=?800) the strength of the relationships of internal and external threat with right-wing attitudes were investigated.


The present studies revealed that internal and external threat can be considered as two distinct dimensions underlying threat. Moreover, whereas external threat yielded strong relationships with right-wing attitudes, internal threat only explained a minor part of the variance in these attitudes.


External rather than internal threat underlies the relationship between threat and right-wing attitudes.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/jopy.12011
Uncontrolled keywords: internal threat;external threat;right-wing ideological attitudes;authoritarianism
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Kristof Dhont
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2014 08:49 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:17 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Dhont, Kristof:
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