The Psychological Impacts of Normalizing Nationalism in a Transnational World
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The Psychological Impacts of Normalizing Nationalism in a Transnational World

  • Author(s): Ortosky, Lauren
  • Advisor(s): Sherman, David
  • et al.
Abstract

This research examines the influence of exposure to normalized nationalist ideology on individuals as a function of their personal nationalism. It is theorized that the existence of issues which cannot be solved by one’s own country alone may be perceived as a worldview threat by nationalists (i.e., those high in nationalism) leading them to derogate and deny the existence of the issues themselves when they have been emboldened by the normalization of their ideology. In three studies it is shown that exposure to normalized (vs. non-normalized) nationalism increases collective self-esteem as Americans for those higher in nationalism and also those high in patriotism (Study 1), that those higher in nationalism are more likely to derogate important political issues if their resolution requires collaboration with other countries but not if they can be resolved domestically (Study 2), and that this derogation is fully mediated by the increased collective self-esteem driven by their nationalist beliefs (Study 3). Study 3, however, did not support the full hypothesized moderated mediation model, as the experimental impact of normalized nationalism found in Study 1 did not replicate. Issue derogation among nationalists is discussed both in terms of the psychological literature and the political and historical context. Keywords: nationalism, worldview threat, norms, collective self-esteem, issue derogation

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