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Current Research Projects

Image by Tamara Gak

Are liberals from Mars and conservatives from Venus?

In an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of the role of political ideology in shaping citizens’ attitudes and policy preferences, I conduct extensive research about the nature and structure of liberal versus conservative worldviews.  My studies demonstrate how the use of systematic “stimulus sampling” methods can inform political-psychological research on the differences between “conservatives” and “liberals” by promoting a more nuanced, context-dependent understanding of ideological differences in values, emotions, attitudes and policy support. 

Image by Cole Keister

The adaptive psychological functions of “conflict-supporting” ideologies

This line of research explores the psychological factors and processes (e.g., group-based emotions, threat perceptions, out-group stereotypes, meta-emotions and meta-stereotypes, intra-group dynamics) that drive members of societies in conflict to support hawkish positions and policies, which perpetuate the conflict, rather than striving for peace and conflict resolution. I am particularly interested in how and why exclusionist and hawkish ideologies become particularly effective in addressing the needs and concerns of citizens in conflict, compared to more inclusive and dovish ideologies. Relatedly, I am interested in exploring the psychological “costs” of “abandoning” conflict for society members involved.

Image by Charl Folscher

Direct and Indirect violence in confict

This line of research explores the psychological processes underlying citizens' support for different forms of intergroup violence and violent activism, and their consequences for intergroup conflict. Alongside my intrerest in support for political violence which is inflicted through action  (e.g., support for military actions and civilian casualties, social exclusion and discrimination), I am particularly interested in intergroup harm which is inflicted through inaction ("passive" aggression, neglect, disregard).

Image by Margarida CSilva

The role of social identity mechanisms in shaping intergroup conflict

In this line of research, I focus on the role of group-based dynamics (e.g., perceived group norms, intergroup distinctiveness threats) in shaping political attitudes and preferences, and facilitating or mitigating conflict on the inter- and intra-national levels. In addition, I explore the overlapping nature of group identifications across intergroup domains (e.g., religious, national, ideological and ethnic), and how this overlap facilitates, or camouflages, internal conflicts. 

Image by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum

The "gender mainstreaming model" of far-right politics

This ongoing project (with Sivan Hirsch Hoefler and Lihi Ben Shitrit), which received the support of the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation (2020-2021) and of the Israeli Science Foundation (grant no. 2623/21; 2021-2025), examines how women’s visibility in far-right movements and parties increases public support for far-right agendas, and explores the role of gender stereotypes in underlying these processes.

Image by Clay Banks

Monitoring political extremism in Israel

Since 2021, this ongoing research project (with Sivan Hirsch Hoefler and Lihi Ben-Shitrit), which received the support of the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation (2021-) is seeking to augment our understanding the similarities and differences in the psychosocial processes that underlie support for democratic principles, political exclusionism and support for violence among and towards national, ethnic, ideological and religious sub-groups in Israel. 

Dome of the Rock

Religious fundamentalism in the Abrahamic Faiths

Building on a cross-national study of religious fundamentalism in Muslim-majority countries, this NSF funded project (with Prof. Mansoor Moaddel) evaluates the similarities and differences in fundamentalism, its antecedents and consequences, between Israeli Jews and Muslims and Christians and Muslims in other Middle Eastern countries. Given that the conflict between religious fundamentalism and liberal democracy has been the key dimension of political conflict and ideological warfare in the region in recent decades, understanding the nature of the social forces that enhances liberal values and weakens fundamentalism will certainly contribute to a better knowledge of how to engineer peace and
avoid conflict in the region.

Fist Bump

This ongoing interdisciplinary project, which I have been leading since 2019 (with the Faculty of Law and the Menomadin Center for Jewish & Democratic Law Bar Ilan University), is based on large-scale yearly surveys conducted in the Israeli population aimed at examining different facets of social cohesion in Israel, while identifying issues that are in agreement and in dispute, monitoring relations between the various sectors in Israeli society, and examining the reciprocal relations between internal conflicts across various identity dimensions (religious, national, ideological and ethnic). 

Monitoring cohesion and divisions in Israel Society

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