The Society for the
Study of Social Issues


SPSSI - EASP Conference 2009

November 16-19, 2009
Claremont Graduate University
Los Angeles

This conference explores the role of uncertainty about self, one’s place in the world and the future of the social order in the emergence or persistence of extremist ideological systems that are orthodox, fundamentalist and ethnocentric and associated with bigotry, intolerance and violence. The topic is of course timely and globally relevant to a modern world characterized by religious, nationalistic and political fundamentalism, mass migration, rapid cultural and technological change, and profound cultural, life-style and economic turmoil and uncertainty. The theme captures and capitalizes on recent and burgeoning research interest in the role played by uncertainty and threat in various group and intergroup behaviors.

The conference is supported and funded by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) and the European Association of Social Psychology (EASP) under their annual joint small group conference program. It is also funded and supported by Claremont Graduate University’s School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences and the John Stauffer Charitable Trust. The conference organizers are Michael Hogg (Claremont Graduate University), Kees van den Bos (Utrecht University), and Arie Kruglanski (University of Maryland), ably assisted by two CGU graduate students, Justin Hackett and Namrata Mahajan.

This is a small meeting with only 20 delegates and speakers. The venue is the campus of Claremont Graduate University ( in the community of Claremont in Los Angeles – a tranquil university neighborhood with a relaxed village atmosphere, nestled beneath the10,000 foot San Gabriel Mountains 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Delegates arrive on Monday November 16 and depart on Thursday November 19.

Our delegates and speakers, with their talk titles, are:

Janice Adelman (Claremont Graduate University)
The mix of religious and national identities under uncertainty in an intergroup conflict setting

Emanuele Castano (New School for Social Research)
Dehumanization: Its banal and extreme forms

Mark Dechesne (Leiden University)
What’s in a name? The representation of extremism using political organization names

Bertjan Doosje (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
The multiple paths from uncertainty to radical right-wing attitudes and
violent intentions

Vicki Esses (The University of Western Ontario)
Uncertainty, threat, and the dehumanization of immigrants and refugees

Chris Federico (University of Minnesota)
Status asymmetries in the system-justifying impact of the need for closure

Immo Fritsche (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)
Social extremism and group-based control restoration

Michele Gelfand (University of Maryland)
Culture and extremism

Agnieszka Golec de Zavala (Middlesex University)
Collective narcissism, perceived threat and intergroup hostility

Michael Hogg (Claremont Graduate University)
Self-uncertainty and group threat: A foundation for radicalism

Aaron Kay (University of Waterloo)
Compensatory control and religious belief

Arie Kruglanski (University of Maryland)
Need for closure and aggressive responses to adversaries: Toughness, derogation and revenge

Mark Landau (University of Kansas)
The existential function of enemyship: Evidence that people attribute influence to personal and political enemies to compensate for threats to control

Brenda Major (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Uncertainty, ideology and threat

Ian McGregor (York University)
Compensatory conviction as palliative goal regulation: Aversive uncertainty, uncertainty aversion, and reactive approach-motivation

Jamie Napier (Yale University)
Naturalistic rationalizations of the status quo among the disadvantaged

Müjde Peker (University of Kent)
Enhancement and amelioration of ideological orthodoxy: Effects of uncertainty, threat and multicultural priming on conservatism

Travis Proulx (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Meaning maintenance model: Anomaly and affirmation

Jim Sidanius (Harvard University)
Under the color of law: The use of state terror and the maintenance of hierarchical group order

Kees van den Bos (Utrecht University)
Personal uncertainty in delayed-return cultures

A subset of the papers presented at the conference will be configured for publication in a forthcoming special issue of the Journal of Social Issues, edited by Michael Hogg, Kees van den Bos, and Arie Kruglanski.

Michael Hogg (Claremont Graduate University)
Kees van den Bos (Utrecht University)
Arie Kruglanski (University of Maryland)


Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin