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Do terrorist threat alerts increase perception of threat and legitimization of in‐group's wars? The moderating role of perceived in‐group homogeneity

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This study examined the impact of external cues of (experimentally induced) terrorist threat or security on perceived threat and legitimization of the U.S.'s war in Iraq as a function of perceived in‐group homogeneity and in‐group identification. In‐group identification did not moderate the effects of external cues of threat or security. External cues of threat resulted in higher legitimization of war via heightened perceived threat, but only among participants who rated low or moderate in perceived in‐group homogeneity. By contrast, cues affirming the security of the in‐group resulted in lower legitimization of war among group members who viewed their in‐group to be homogeneous. These results draw attention to in‐group homogeneity's role in increasing perceived group's agency to cope with threats.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2015

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