That Kennism was confirmed recently by new research. According to Phys.org, "Data from two nationally representative surveys of British citizens revealed that feelings of national loyalty increased and endorsement of equality decreased among political liberals following the terrorist attack."
The study was published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
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Terrorist attacks on major international capital cities such as Paris, Ankara, or London are rare and dramatic events that undoubtedly shape public and political opinion. But whose attitudes do they affect most, and in what way?
"Our findings show that terrorism shifts public attitudes towards greater loyalty to the in-group, less concern with fairness, and greater prejudice against Muslims and immigrants, but it seems that this effect is stronger on those who are politically left-leaning than those who are right-leaning," explain psychological scientists from the Center for the Study of Group Processes at the University of Kent.
"The overall impact is to create a climate in which it may be harder to promote or sustain intergroup tolerance, inclusiveness and trust," says Julie Van de Vyver of the University of Kent, one of the authors on the study.
Research from psychological science has shown that people often adopt ideological belief systems that reduce their feelings of threat. Based on these findings, the research team hypothesized that the bombings would cause liberals to shift moral perspectives in favor of protecting the in-group, akin to the values typically reported by political conservatives. They speculated that this shift would ultimately lead to an increase in prejudice toward the out-group among liberals.
Historic survey evidence gathered by two of the study authors, Diane Houston and Dominic Abrams, provided the research team with real-world insight. The researchers analyzed newly available data from two nationally representative surveys, administered about 6 weeks before and 1 month after the July 7, 2005 bombings in London. The bombings, which occurred on public transport, led to the deaths of 52 people and injury of 770 people. The bombings were part of an Al Qaeda attack carried out by three British-born Muslims from immigrant families and one Jamaican convert to Islam.
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Image credit: phys.org ####
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