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Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

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´Only My Truth Can Save Us All´: The Impact of Socioeconomic Threat and its Emotional Appraisals on the Monopoly on Truth and Political Extremism

Marcos Dono, Mónica Alzate and José Manuel Sabucedo

Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (Spain)

Background: Political extremism is one of the main threats to democratic societies and it has been related to socioeconomic threats like COVID-19. We argue that socioeconomic threat perceptions increase Monopoly on Truth (MoT), a tendency to conceive personal values as undeniable truths that are worthy of being imposed. MoT will then prompt a rise in extremist intentions. Method: These hypotheses were tested in two experimental designs (N = 274 & 484). Study 1 manipulated socioeconomic threat, while Study 2 added a manipulation of the emotional appraisal of that threat. Results: In Study 1, MoT scores were significantly different and higher in the high-threat condition. In Study 2, threat levels did not cause statistically significant differences when emotional appraisal of the threat was manipulated, with anger causing MoT to increase. Study 2 also showed that MoT works as a precursor of extremist intentions. Conclusions: Socioeconomic threats and their emotional appraisals raise MoT and, indirectly, extremism. Beyond deepening our understanding of the causes of MoT, the current findings highlight the implications of different narratives framing socioeconomic crises that may become a facilitating factor of extremism.

Antecedentes: El extremismo político constituye una de las principales amenazas para las sociedades democráticas, y se ha relacionado con amenazas socioeconómicas como la COVID-19. Argumentamos que las percepciones de amenaza incrementan el Monopolio de la Verdad (MdV), una concepción de los valores personales como verdades innegables dignas de imponerse. El MdV provocaría además un aumento de las intenciones extremistas. Método: Se realizaron dos estudios experimentales (N = 274 y 484). En el Estudio 1 se manipuló la amenaza socioeconómica. El Estudio 2 añadió una manipulación de la evaluación emocional de dicha amenaza. Resultados: En el Estudio 1, las puntuaciones de MdV difirieron de forma estadísticamente significativa, siendo más altas en la condición de alta amenaza. En el Estudio 2 se observó que los niveles de amenaza no causaron diferencias estadísticamente significativas en MdV al manipular la evaluación emocional. La ira sí causó diferencias estadísticamente significativas en MdV. El Estudio 2 mostró que el MdV funciona como antecedente de intenciones extremistas. Conclusiones: Las amenazas socioeconómicas y su evaluación emocional provocan un aumento del MdV e, indirectamente, del extremismo. Además, nuestros hallazgos destacan la relevancia de las diferentes narrativas que enmarcan las amenazas, las cuales pueden llegar a fomentar el extremismo.

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