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The evolutionary psychology of mass mobilization: how disinformation and demagogues coordinate rather than manipulate

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Large-scale mobilization is often accompanied by the emergence of demagogic leaders and the circulation of unverified rumors, especially if the mobilization happens in support of violent or disruptive projects. In those circumstances, researchers and commentators frequently explain the mobilization as a result of mass manipulation. Against this view, evolutionary psychologists have provided evidence that human psychology contains mechanisms for avoiding manipulation and new studies suggest that political manipulation attempts are, in general, ineffective. Instead, we can understand decisions to follow demagogic leaders and circulate fringe rumors as attempts to solve a social problem inherent to mobilization processes: The coordination problem. Essentially, these decisions reflect attempts to align the attention of individuals already disposed for conflict.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftCurrent Opinion in Psychology
Vol/bind35
Sider (fra-til)71-75
ISSN2352-250X
DOI
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2020

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