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Fuqua School of Business
Duke University

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Publications [#349217] of Aaron C. Kay

Journal Articles

  1. Ponce de Leon, R; Kay, AC, Political ideology and compensatory control mechanisms, Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, vol. 34 (August, 2020), pp. 112-117 [doi]
    (last updated on 2023/10/03)

    People strive to feel in control. As such, under control threat, people defensively endorse ideologies that help compensate for diminished control. Although scholarly work has tended to focus on conservatism as a compensatory control mechanism, recent research suggests that conservatism is not always the most appealing means of restoring feelings of control. While conservatives are higher in the need for control — and conservative social ideologies often function as compensatory control tools — the endorsement of both liberal and normative ideologies can also serve as compensatory control mechanisms, under different circumstances. However, political groups are likely to differ in the ideologies they adopt under control threat. Factors related to the cognitive accessibility of ideologies and their propensity to combat the control threat at play help determine which set of ideological beliefs people embrace when they face control loss.

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