On the Social and Psychological Bases of Ideology and System Justification
This chapter summarizes research that both reflects and exemplifies the recent resurgence of interest in the social and psychological characteristics and processes that give rise to ideological forms. Ideology is an elusive, multifaceted construct that can usefully be analyzed in terms of “top-down” processes related to the social construction and dissemination of ideology as well as “bottom-up” processes, including dispositional and situational factors, that make certain ideological outcomes more likely than others. The chapter briefly summarizes the contents of this volume, focusing especially on the cognitive and motivational antecedents and consequences of adopting specific ideologies, the functions served by those ideologies, and the myriad ways in which people accept and justify (versus reject) aspects of the social and political worlds they inhabit. Current challenges and future directions for the study of ideology and system justification are also discussed.
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