Agnieszka Golec de Zavala

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Agnieszka Golec de Zavala

Head of the PrejudiceLab; Reader, Goldsmith, University of London, United Kingdom; University Professor, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poznań, Poland; Visiting Professor, ISCTE-CIS, Lisbon, Portugal

Summary of research

Collective narcissism, prejudice, extremism and populism; Psychology of intergroup conflict and political violence; Embodiment of prejudice; Self-transcendent emotions, mindfulness, yoga

Research interests

In my research I have developed a specialized research agenda driven by a question: What makes people prejudiced and what makes them fight in conflicts? I have researched the concept of collective narcissism – resentment for the in-group’s unrecognized greatness – that predicts retaliatory intergroup hostility, prejudice, revengefulness and unforgiveness, political radicalisation and belief in conspiracy theories. In my recent research I have examined how collective narcissists react to intergroup exclusion and how collective narcissism is related to personal self-esteem. My lab have also been testing the effects of self-transcendent emotions on the link between collective narcissism and intergroup hostility. We have used methods of neuroscience and physiology to assess the mechanisms underlying this effect.

I also examined how prejudice towards essentialized out-groups is embodied. In particular, I looked at effects of smell on prejudice and the link between physical contacts with out-group members and a need for physical cleansing. I also examined the cognitive and motivational underpinnings of political beliefs related to intergroup conflict and prejudice (e.g. political conservatism, nationalism and patriotism, religious orientations). I examined how such ideological orientations interact with the complexity of political reasoning; motivated closed-mindedness (e.g. need for cognitive closure), and death anxiety in inspiring intergroup hostility.

Latest posts

Read my latest posts!

Dr Golec de Zavala at Society for Experimental Social Psychology (SESP) annual conference in Toronto

I will give a talk Collective narcissism: Political consequences of investing self-esteem in the in-group image during annual conference of Society fo

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Low self-esteem predicts outgroup derogation indirectly via collective narcissism

In a recent paper we revisited the proposition that low self-esteem motivates group members to derogate out-groups. Several theoretical accounts pred

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Why is collective narcissism so robustly associated with conspiracy thinking?

Conspiracy theories are explanatory beliefs positing that a group of people plots in secret against one and one’s ingroup (van Prooijen & van Lange, 2

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Collective narcissism, populism and self-esteem

The present wave of populism has reorganized the political map of the world. It brought about the Trump presidency and the crisis around Brexit. Popul

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PrejudiceLab at the 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting of ISPP in Lisbon

Our full panel session National collective narcissism: vengeful hostility towards minorities and ambivalence towards the European Union has been accep

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