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PoP - Psychology of Politics (en)

PoP - Psychology of Politics



ERC Sectors

SH3_5 - Attitudes and beliefs



Socio-political consequences of Covid-19  

Living under threat has consequences. When people feel their personal safety or that of their society is in danger, their perception of control and their satisfaction with the need to live in a predictable and secure environment are undermined. The effects of threats do not end with the individual’s feeling of uncertainty, but spill over into other domains, such as social and political spheres, where they can have further consequences. The COVID-19 pandemic had multifaceted and complex nature and it has generated changes in a variety of socio-political attitudes.

Our work, based on longitudinal data, aims at detailing the social-psychological processes whereby people confronted with COVID-19 come to change their socio-political attitudes and behaviours. We mainly focus on institutional trust and anti-democratic attitudes (see for additional information).

Human agency and adolescents' political development

The study of youths’ political development has often conceptualized youths as passive objects of socializing institutions, such as family, schools, and peers. Recent research conceived young people as active agents in their own socialization. Our work aims to test models of political development that recognize the agentic nature of youths. We focus primarily on the role of youths’ political interest.

Societal antecedents of interpersonal relations

When people perceive societal institutions to be of low quality, it also deteriorates the quality of their social relationships and therefore also their psychological wellbeing. Our project aims to illuminate how institutions may regulate citizens’ social relationships at the interpersonal, within-group, and between-group levels in at least two ways by providing a sense of security and models for group norms and values.

Origins and consequences of populism

Populism is a protagonist in the political landscape of many countries around the world. Consistent with this, the present populist Zeitgeist has dramatically affected politics and society in different ways—leading, among other things, to an increased polarisation across political parties, a diminishing of the perceived quality of non-populist governments and even to a potential hindering of economic growth over the long term. Our research aims to detect the main social-psychological predictors and the main individual and societal consequences of populist orientations and behaviours.


Erik Amnå, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Orebro University, Sweden

Nicoletta Cavazza, Dipartimento di Comunicazione ed Economia, Università di Modena-Reggio Emilia

Pasquale Colloca, Dipartimento di Scienze Dell'Educazione "Giovanni Maria Bertin", Università di Bologna

Yunhwan Kim, Department of Psychology, Lund University, Sweden

Maria Giuseppina Pacilli, Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche, Università di Perugia

Håkan Stattin, Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Sweden


Positivamente negativo? L'influenza delle campagne negative sugli atteggiamenti politici e i comportamenti elettorali. Finanziamento: € 26.335
Ente che ha finanziato la ricerca: MIUR

Come cambia la rappresentanza politica in Italia. La decisione di voto nel ciclo elettorale 2013-2015. Finanziamento: € 33.327
Ente che ha finanziato la ricerca: MIUR

Legittimare la discriminazione: strategie psicologiche per perpetuare le differenze sociali. Il ruolo moderatore delle ideologie, dell’identificazione e dell’ambivalenza intergruppi. Finanziamento: € 54.286
Ente che ha finanziato la ricerca: MIUR

Institutions, Behaviors and Markets in Local and Global Settings (2009-2012) €90.003
Ente che ha finanziato la ricerca: Regione Piemonte

Moncalieri a colori: Azioni di mediazione e promozione del dialogo interculturale. Finanziamento: € 10.000
Ente che ha finanziato la ricerca: Unione Europea


Most recent publications

Cena, L., Cavazza, N., & Roccato, M. (in press). Development and validation of the COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy (CVH) Scale. TPM - Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology.

Russo, S., Colloca, P., Cavazza, N., & Roccato, M. (2022). Household crowding during the COVID-19 lockdown fosters anti-democracy even after 17 months: A 5-wave latent growth curve study. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 83, 101867.

Roccato, M., Pacilli, M. G., Orlando, E., & Russo, S. (2022). Male gender, adherence to the traditional masculinity ideology, perceived vulnerability to COVID-19 and adoption of protective behaviors. Sexuality and Culture, 26(6), 2171-2186.

Cavazza, N., Russo, S., Colloca, P., & Roccato, M. (in press). How and why is the COVID-19 crisis impacting trust in institutions? A two-wave longitudinal study in Italy. Psicologia Sociale.

Roccato, M., & Russo, S. (in press). A new look on politicized reticence to vaccination: Populism and COVID-19 vaccine refusal. Psychological Medicine.

Cavazza, N., Russo, S., Colloca, P., & Roccato, M. (2021). Household crowding can have political effects: An empirical study on support for anti-democratic political systems during the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 76, 101628.

Roccato, M., Colloca, P., Cavazza, N., & Russo, S. (2021). Coping with the COVID-19 pandemic through institutional trust: Rally effects, compensatory control and emotions. Social Science Quarterly, 102(5), 2360-2367.

Roccato, M., Cavazza, N., Colloca, P., & Russo, S. (2020). A democratic emergency after a health emergency? Exposure to Covid-19, perceived economic threat and support for anti-democratic political systems. Social Science Quarterly, 101(6), 2193-2202.

Russo, S., Colloca, P., Cavazza, N., & Roccato, M. (2021). Moving away from populist votes: The role of anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Polis, 35(1), 153-164.

Roccato, M., Russo, S., Colloca, P., & Cavazza, N. (2021). The lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on support for anti-democratic political systems: A 6-month longitudinal study. Social Science Quarterly, 102(5), 2285-2295.

Stattin, H., Amnå, E., & Russo, S. (in press). Setting societal engagement goals during adolescence amplifies the impacts of political interest on political activities during young adulthood. International Journal of Behavioral Development.

Stattin, H. & Russo, S. (2022). Youth’s own political interest can explain their political interactions with important others. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 46(4), 297-307.

Stattin, H., Russo, S., & Arensmeier, C, (2022). Characteristics and consequences of having a political reputation in class. Political Psychology, 43(4),635-650.

Stattin, H., Russo, S., & Kim, Y. (2021). Projection bias and youth’s and parents’ perceptions of their joint political discussions. Journal of Family Communication, 21(2), 127-137.

Russo, S., & Stattin, H. (2017). Self-determination theory and the role of political interest in adolescents' sociopolitical development. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 50, 71-78.

Russo, S., & Stattin, H. (2017). Stability and change in youths’ political interest. Social Indicators Research, 132, 643-658.

Kim, Y., Russo, S., & Amnå, E. (2017). The longitudinal relation between online and offline political participation among youth at two different developmental stages. New Media & Society, 19, 899-917.

Stattin, H., Hussein, O., Özdemir, M., & Russo, S. (2017). Why do some adolescents encounter everyday events that increase their civic interest while others do not? Developmental Psychology, 53, 306-318.

Cavazza, N., Colloca, P., & Roccato, M. (2022). Left and right in the age of populism: Has the populist zeitgeist permeated citizens’ representation of ideological labels? Contemporary Italian Politics, 14, 68-86.

Cena, L., Cavazza, N., & Roccato, M. (2022). Relative deprivation, populist orientation and populist vote: A field research. Psicologia Sociale: Social Psychology Theory and Research, 16(1), 23-32.

Cena, L., Roccato, M., & Russo, S. (2022). Relative deprivation, national GDP and right-wing populism: A multilevel, multinational study. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 1-11.

Roccato, M., Cavazza, N., Colloca, P., & Russo, S. (2020). Three roads to populism? An Italian field study on the 2019 European election. Social Science Quarterly, 101, 1222-1235.

Cavazza, N., Colloca, P., Corbetta, P., Mosso, C. O., & Roccato, M. (2020). ‘Strangers in their own land’: Development and validation of a balanced, unidimensional scale to measure the sense of threat to local traditions. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 32(1), 189-201.

Roccato, M., Corbetta, P., Cavazza, N., & Colloca, P. (2019). Assessment of citizens’ populist orientations: Development and validation of the POPulist ORientation (POPOR) Scale. Social Science Quarterly, 100, 2148-2167.

Corbetta, P., Colloca, P, Cavazza, N., & Roccato, M. (2018). Lega and Five-star Movement voters: Exploring the role of cultural, economic and political bewilderment. Contemporary Italian Politics3(2) 279-293. 

Conzo, P., Fuochi, G., Anfossi, L., Spaccatini, F., & Mosso, C. O. (2021). Negative media portrayals of immigrants increase ingroup favoritism and hostile physiological and emotional reactions. Scientific reports11(1), 1-11.

Mosso, C. O., & Ghio, R. (2020). Uno sguardo alla trasformazione delle competenze professionali in relazione allo sviluppo tecnologico. Giornale Italiano di Psicologia, 47(2), 653-663.

Spadaro, G., Gangl, K., Van Prooijen, J. W., Van Lange, P. A., & Mosso, C. O. (2020). Enhancing feelings of security: How institutional trust promotes interpersonal trust. Plos one, 15(9),

Spadaro, G., Molho, C., Van Prooijen, JW. et al. (2022). Corrupt third parties undermine trust and prosocial behaviour between people. Nature Human Behavior.

Caldera, A., & Mosso, C. O. (2022). Una rassegna sulle conseguenze del confronto sociale mediante i Social Network Sites. Giornale italiano di psicologia49(2), 300-337.

Venturini, A., Mosso, C., & Ricci, A. (2022). Cultural Policies for Migrant Inclusion: A Survey. Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers, (202216).

Malnati, G., Viola, E., Trizio, M., & Mosso, C. O. (2022). Chat for Teamwork Discussion: An Exploratory Study in a Training Course. International Journal of e-Collaboration (IJeC)18(1), 1-19,


Last update: 05/06/2023 22:02
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