A step into the anarchist’s mind: examining political attitudes and ideology through event-related brain potentials

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Abstract

The present study investigates patterns of event-related brain potentials following the presentation of attitudinal stimuli among political moderates (N = 12) and anarchists (N = 11). We used a modified oddball paradigm to investigate the evaluative inconsistency effect elicited by stimuli embedded in a sequence of contextual stimuli with an opposite valence. Increased late positive potentials (LPPs) of extreme political attitudes were observed. Moreover, this LPP enhancement was larger among anarchists than among moderates, indicating that an extreme political attitude of a moderate differs from an extreme political attitude of an anarchist. The discussion elaborates on the meaning of attitude extremity for moderates and extremists.

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