Only my truth can save us all: impact of socioeconomic threat and its emotional appraisals on monopoly on truth and political extremism


          Marcos Dono, Mónica Alzate y José Manuel Sabucedo


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 worthy to be imposed. MoT will then prompt extremist intentions to rise. 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 it was observed that threat levels did not cause statistically significant differences when emotional appraisal of such threat was manipulated, with anger causing MoT to increase. Study 2 also showed that MoT works as an antecedent of extremist intentions Conclusions: Socioeconomic threats and their emotional appraisals cause MoT and, indirectly, extremism to rise. 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.

Revista: Psicothema

Año: in press