Legitimacy

Figure 1 from Brandt & Reyna, 2017

People have a pervasive tendency to support the status quo, a finding that is consistent across psychological subdisciplines including judgment and decision making, social psychology, and political psychology. In the lab, we are interested in this from two directions. First, we are interested in how power and social status predict support for the status quo (Brandt, 2013). Currently, we are building on this work by conducting a large and international study with over 60 collaborators from around the world that will test a number of potential moderators of the association between status, power, and legitimacy among individuals and between countries. Second, we are interested in the cognitive processes that bolster such status quo biases. One approach looks at how how memory retrieval processes might underly support for the status quo (Spälti et al., 2017). In general, the goal is understand the precise processes, so that these biases can be reduced

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Political Psychology Lab