Searching for alternative worldviews – how need thwarting, group characteristics and the social environment determine ideological extremism

10 February 2021, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


Using data from the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) database (N = 884), this study shows that lack of identification with the American belief and social value system, and group grievance, are both significant predictors in explaining why individuals reach out to ideological, extremist groups, prior of showing violent behavior. This means that low levels of identification with socially shared norms, values, narratives and beliefs and the attachment to a group that is believed to be under threat, increase the chance that individuals question the established systems in the United States and search for alternative, even extremist, worldviews.


Ideological Extremism
Collective Grievance
Human Needs
Extremist Groups


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