By Juliana Ledur Stucky (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul)

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The Brazilian military dictatorship (1964–1985) was a period marked for political repression and restrictions of civil rights, built under the flag of national-development. The officers who proceeded with the coup d’ètat justified their actions under the alleged fear of implementation of communism (Scarparo, Torres & Ecker, 2014), in a period of relevant tension during the Cold War. This period was marked by violations of human rights causing many people to flee the country to avoid political persecution. Two years before the implementation of the exception regime, Psychology was regulated in Brazil as a proper profession, which undoubtedly brought relevant limitations to the development of this science. Psychologists allied to the regime made use of their knowledge in favor of the dictatorship by attesting the sickness of people who challenged the regime. These actions came in the form of expertise reports or psychological tests (e.g. …


By Michael de Quadros Duarte (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul)

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Global crises, whether economic, social or caused by natural disasters, have made the migration movement grow globally. Although migration is a right guaranteed in the universal declaration of human rights, the migratory waves of recent decades have caused social and political conflicts in Europe and the Americas. Brazil is no different and although it is a multicultural country (mainly due to its colonial history), there are still historical reports of prejudice against immigrants (1). The 1907 “expulsion law” of São Paulo senator Adolpho Gordo, which allowed that any immigrants were legally expulsed of the country just because of your political positions (“anarchists”, “communists” and “socialists”), is an example of the state and society’s actions to expel immigrants from the country (2). Also, in the legal field in 2017, the amendment of Law №13,445 made it possible for thousands of immigrants to access the country. …


By Camilo Rincón-Unigarro, María del Pilar Morales-Sierra, Sara Rivera-Escobar & Andrea Correa-Chica

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On December 10th, 2016, former president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos pronounced his Nobel Peace Prize lecture in Oslo. The Prize was awarded to Santos two weeks after the signing of the most recent peace accord in Colombia, settling a five-decade armed conflict, with more than 220.000 people killed, and almost 8 million victims of political violence (1). Delegations of the Colombian government and the FARC-EP guerrilla held peace talks since 2012 in Cuba. And after reaching an initial peace agreement in September 2016, its implementation failed: 50.2% of Colombian voters rejected the accord in a plebiscite, with a voter turnout of less than 40% (2). …


By Carolina Rocha and Stephen Reicher (University of St Andrews)

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What started in late 2019 as a limited protest against rises in Chilean metro fares turned into a societal uprising met by levels of repression unseen since the end of the Pinochet dictatorship back in 1990. As human rights violations dominated these protests, we explored whether people in Chile were being mobilised into helping those at risk by learning that many were being targets of violence.

This story started decades ago. In 1973, a coup d’état finished with Salvador Allende’s government and initiated a 17-year-long dictatorship, headed by Augusto Pinochet. Hand in hand with a systematic violation of human rights, this regime led to the current neoliberal socioeconomic system in Chile. This system has promoted economic growth but has created extreme inequity and diminished the State’s protection, leading people to feel exhausted (Araujo, 2020). …


By Paula Bria and Agustina Pesce (Universidad Buenos Aires)

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The study of conflictive intergroup relationships and the difficulties in providing equal opportunities to all groups in our societies has a long history in the Political and Social Psychology field. This can be spotted in the large literature and complexity of prejudice and discrimination conceptualizations (Dovidio et al., 2010; Glick & Fiske, 2011). But: have these progresses helped in the development of possible interventions to reduce these negative outcomes?

Since Allport’s notable contribution defining prejudice as an antipathy based on a flawed and inflexible generalization (Allport, 1954), some nuances have been remarked. For instance, the sexism theory has stressed how attitudes sometimes interpreted as protective -like chivalry-, can be understood as condescending (Glick & Fiske, 1996). This has come to a turning point in the sexism theory which is nowadays mostly studied as a bidimensional construct that includes a hostile as well as benevolent -or condescending- form. Likewise, the acknowledgement of more subtle measures of prejudice, has thrown light to a greater array of prejudice forms that take place in our societies (Brewer, 2017; Pettigrew & Meertens, 1995). …


By Efraín García Sánchez (Universidade de São Paulo)

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Economic inequality is a defining component of Latin American societies. The colonial legacy of Latin American institutions has settled the ground for reinforcing inequalities by ethnicity, gender, and social class over the years. But the maintenance of inequality also requires people’s compliance, that is, that people accept and justify such social disparities. Thus, the psychology underlying economic inequality can provide insights for understanding why and how people uphold unequal systems.

Economic inequality creates a framework that mobilizes social-psychological processes that affect people’s well-being and political attitudes (Jetten & Peters, 2019). Particularly, perceptions and beliefs about economic inequality shape how people understand, experience, and respond to their reality. As such, what people know (i.e., perception) and what people think (i.e., …


By Bjarki Gronfeldt (University of Kent)

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Party identity has earned quite a negative reputation. The current political climate in many of the world’s democracies can justifiably be described as “hyper-partisan” and polarised along party lines. A report by Harvard Business School even goes so far as saying that extreme partisanship is destroying America’s competitiveness on the global market (Gaskell, 2020).

Social science research has generally supported this view. Party identity can be described as a “lens” through which we see the social world, often in a biased way. For example, research has demonstrated that party identities bias the way voters understand political information and make them abandon their principles (Bolsen et al., …


By Celia Bähr, Danielle Blaylock and Laura K. Taylor

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The number of children growing up in conflict zones increased by 37% over the last 10 years (Save the Children, 2019). This blog presents research that conceptualizes children as potential peacebuilders and explores how children can peacefully transform conflict-ridden environments. More specifically, Pioneering Parents explores how children’s intergroup experiences in schools can influence their families.

After a peace agreement has been signed, a common legacy in such ‘post-accord’ environments is divided social lives. For example, separate education systems limit children’s opportunity for intergroup contact and cooperation, both needed to establish positive peace. Shared Education, in which children continue to attend separated schools, but voluntarily come together for specific classes or events, offers one alternative. …


By Xenia Daniela Poslon (Comenius University)

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Antigypsyism is both the main obstacle in supporting the Roma and the main motivator in acting against them. Still, people seem to be generally quite indifferent to any kind of action, showed our latest research in Slovakia.

In a representative survey we asked people to imagine that a poor Roma family moved into their neighbourhood and to further indicate whether they would engage in various activities directed either against, or on behalf of the Roma family. We wanted to examine which sets of beliefs or factors are associated with different ways that people might respond to inequality. …


By Anaëlle Gonzalez (KU Leuven)

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The European Referendum led to extensive press and academic coverage attempting to understand who voted for what, and for which reasons. Income, education and generation were found to be strong lines of division (Swales, 2016) but not so much gender which appeared as irrelevant in the polls with 49 percent of women voting to Leave (Ipsos-Mori, 2016). However, the invisibility of gender as an axis of identity relevant to the support for or against Brexit does not mean that gender identities did not play a role. Rather, research should conceptualize it not only as simple self-categorization but as a more complex, socially constructed unit of analysis whose internal characteristics differ depending on the individual’s history and interacting identities. …

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