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      Editorial Report and Acknowledgement of Reviewers, 2018

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      Journal of Social and Political Psychology
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          Activism in Changing Times: Reinvigorating Community Psychology – Introduction to the Special Thematic Section

          The field of community psychology has for decades concerned itself with the theory and practice of bottom-up emancipatory efforts to tackle health inequalities and other social injustices, often assuming a consensus around values of equality, tolerance and human rights. However, recent global socio-political shifts, particularly the individualisation of neoliberalism and the rise of intolerant, exclusionary politics, have shaken those assumptions, creating what many perceive to be exceptionally hostile conditions for emancipatory activism. This special thematic section brings together a diverse series of articles which address how health and social justice activists are responding to contemporary conditions, in the interest of re-invigorating community psychology’s contribution to emancipatory efforts. The current article introduces our collective conceptualisation of these ‘changing times’, the challenges they pose, and four openings offered by the collection of articles. Firstly, against the backdrop of neoliberal hegemony, these articles argue for a return to community psychology’s core principle of relationality. Secondly, articles identify novel sources of disruptive community agency, in the resistant identities of nonconformist groups, and new, technologically-mediated communicative relations. Thirdly, articles prompt a critical reflection on the potentials and tensions of scholar-activist-community relationships. Fourthly, and collectively, the articles inspire a politics of hope rather than of despair. Building on the creativity of the activists and authors represented in this special section, we conclude that the environment of neoliberal individualism and intolerance, rather than rendering community psychology outdated, serves to re-invigorate its core commitment to relationality, and to a bold and combative scholar-activism.
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            If They Can’t Change, Why Support Change? Implicit Theories About Groups, Social Dominance Orientation and Political Identity

            In three studies across three cultures (U.S., Sweden, and Israel), we examine whether implicit theories about groups are associated with political identity and whether this relationship is mediated by Social Dominance Orientation (SDO). Study 1 found that raising the salience of entity beliefs leads to increased right-wing political self-identification on social issues, although no such effect was found regarding general or economic political identity. In Study 2, we found that the more participants endorsed entity beliefs about groups (vs. incremental beliefs about groups), the more they identified as political rightists (vs. leftists) in the U.S., Sweden, and Israel. SDO mediated this relationship in the U.S. and Swedish samples, but not in the Israeli sample – a political setting in which political identity is largely determined by attitudes regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Study 3 showed that SDO mediated the relationship between implicit theories about groups and Israelis’ political identity regarding social/economic issues, but did not have such a mediating role with respect to political identity regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Can groups change their basic characteristics? The present research examines how the answer that different individuals provide to this question is related to their political identity – their self-identification as political left/right or liberal conservative. The purpose of the studies was to examine the hypothesis that the belief that groups cannot change their characteristics is related to right-wing political identity, while the belief that groups can change their characteristics is related to left-wing political identity. We were further interested in the relationship between such beliefs about groups and justification of unequal power relations in society (social dominance beliefs). In the first study, the participants were given a (made-up) article showing either that groups generally are capable of change or that they are incapable of change. Reading the article showing that groups are incapable of change caused the participants to gravitate towards the political right with regards to social issues. The second and third studies were survey studies carried out in the U.S., Sweden and Israel and the results showed that the belief that groups cannot change was related to political right-wing identity. The results further indicated that the relationship between beliefs about the changeability of groups went through (i.e., was mediated by) the belief that the current power relations between different societal groups is justified (social dominance beliefs). The results confirmed our hypothesis that beliefs about the capability of change in groups is related to political identity. The studies also clarified why beliefs about groups are related to political identity. If you believe that disadvantaged societal groups (e.g., ethnic minority groups, the working class) are incapable of change, then you are more likely to see their subordinate place in the social hierarchy as justified (so called "social dominance beliefs") and such beliefs are in turn closely related to political identity.
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              A Psychological Approach to Promoting Truth in Politics: The Pro-Truth Pledge

              Some recent psychology research has shown why people engage in deceptive behavior, and how we can prevent them from doing so. Given the alarming amount of fake news in the US public sphere, a group of psychologists has sought to combine the available research in a proposed intervention, the Pro-Truth Pledge, to help address this problem. The pledge asks signees to commit to 12 behaviors that research in psychology shows correlate with an orientation toward truthfulness. Early results show both that private citizens and public figures are willing to take the pledge, and initial survey, interview, and observational evidence shows the effectiveness of the pledge on reducing sharing misinformation on social media.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JSPP
                J Soc Polit Psych
                Journal of Social and Political Psychology
                J. Soc. Polit. Psych.
                PsychOpen
                2195-3325
                08 February 2019
                2019
                : 7
                : 1
                : 1-7
                Affiliations
                [a ] Philipps University Marburg , Marburg, Germany
                [b ] Clark University , Worcester, MA, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Philipps University Marburg, Department of Psychology, Gutenbergstr. 18, 35032 Marburg, Germany. Phone: +49 6421 2826632. christopher.cohrs@ 123456uni-marburg.de
                Article
                jspp.v7i1.1152
                10.5964/jspp.v7i1.1152
                eeaedc39-92da-4ec5-a32c-c5346583936b
                Copyright @ 2019

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Psychology
                Psychology

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