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      When in Danger, Turn Right: Covid-19 Threat Promotes Social Conservatism and Right-Wing Presidential Candidates

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          Abstract

          The recent coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forms an enormous challenge for the world's economy, governments, and societies. Drawing upon the Parasite Model of Democratization (Thornhill, R., Fincher, C. L., & Aran, D. (2009), parasites, democratization, and the liberalization of values across contemporary countries, Biological Reviews, 84(1), 113-131) across two large, preregistered experiments conducted in the USA and Poland (total N = 1,237), we examined the psychological and political consequences of this unprecedented pandemic. By manipulating saliency of COVID-19, we demonstrate that activating thinking about coronavirus elevates Americans' and Poles' anxiety and indirectly promotes their social conservatism as well as support for more conservative presidential candidates. The pattern obtained was consistent in both countries and it implies that the pandemic may result in a shift in political views. Both theoretical and practical consequences of the findings are discussed.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Center for Open Science
          March 31 2020
          Article
          10.31234/osf.io/pjfhs
          f27ee64a-1e7c-4e0b-b050-cb178b8daeb2
          © 2020
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          Self URI (article page): https://osf.io/pjfhs

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