Political Conservatism As Motivated Social Cognition

By Arie KruglanskiJack Glaser
1999| Working Paper No. 1571

Political conservatism is considered as a special case of motivated social cognition. This perspective helps to integrate three classes of thories: (a) conservatism as a simention of personality ( such as authoritarianism, dogmatism, intolerance of ambiguity, and ideogical polarity), (b) conservatism as an attemp to satisfy epistemic and extntial needs (such as needs for cognitive closure, regulatory focus, and terror management), and (c) conservatism as a socio-polictical ideology arising from the cllective rationalization od social systems (such as theories of symbolic politics, social domincance, and system justification). While these classes of theories differ from one another in terms of orgins and assumptions, they all lead to the conclusion that policticalconservatism satisfies the dispostional and suational needs of certain individuals,groups,and systems to explain,order,and justify the status quo and to prvent change and disruption.