Situational appraisal and emotional responses of the public in the social movement

Alex Yue Feng ZHU, Kee Lee CHOU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

On the basis of conceptualizing militant action as non-normative political participation, the group-based model of appraisal and emotions (GAE) depicts a pathway that explains public support for militant protest as the outcome of group-based subjective situational assessment and consequent emotional feelings. With data from two samples (one identified with militant protesters and the other with moderate protesters) in the anti-ELAB movement, we validated two classical pathways in the GAE among Hong Kong residents. Among people identifying with militant protesters, perceiving excessive police action and collective efficacy with militant protesters were significantly associated with support for militant protest via contempt rather than anger. Among people identifying with moderate protesters, perceiving excessive police action and collective efficacy with moderate protesters were significantly associated with support for moderate protest via anger rather than contempt. In addition, we extended the GAE by validating a new pathway that those identifying with moderate protesters would also support militant protest when they felt contempt. The findings indicate that the association between emotion and attitude toward collective action is not fully based on group identification. Our findings unpacked public support for militant protest into support from people identifying with militant protesters and support from those identifying with moderate protesters. The results of this research indicate that the solidarity between militant and moderate protesters in the anti-ELAB movement was not only a tactical cooperation but also a common emotional response (contempt). Our findings propose political communication as a potentially effective manner to deradicalize public attitudes, the core of which should be to mitigate people’s contempt. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
Early online date04 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 04 Jan 2022

Citation

Zhu, A. Y. F., & Chou, K. L. (2022). Situational appraisal and emotional responses of the public in the social movement. Current Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12144-021-02581-y

Keywords

  • Group identification
  • Anger
  • Contempt
  • Excessive police action
  • Collective group efficacy
  • Support for violence

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