Homophobia and collective narcissism in contemporary Poland

Agnieszka Golec de Zavala & Richard C.M. Mole

The project is funded by Oxford Noble Foundation: Programme on modern Poland.

Research has shown that increased gender equality and greater tolerance towards non-heterosexuals pose an identity threat to those who define themselves in terms of traditional gender roles. In post-communist Eastern Europe the collapse of state socialism devalued the status of many of ‘male’ professions (e.g. miners or factory workers) and promoted women’s contributions to the overall household income, undermining traditional gender roles and threatening the gender identities of both men and women. In Poland, these three factors – gender identity threat and religious justification for traditional gender roles linked to the definition of national identity – have contributed to the country being ranked as one of the three worst in the EU to be LGBT.

The purpose of the project is to investigate the mediating role of collective narcissism in the process of negative attitudes towards homosexuals in Poland. In particular, we plan to examine the link between national and religious collective narcissism and explicit and implicit attitudes towards homosexuals. To do so, we plan to analyse whether the tendency to uphold traditional gender identities mediates the link between national collective narcissism and anti-gay attitudes, and also whether sexual guilt mediates the link between religious collective narcissism and anti-gay attitudes. Importantly, the differentiation of collective narcissism allows us to study a non-contingent form of positive national and religious identity that can be theoretically delineated and strengthened by research-based interventions to support greater tolerance towards diversity in general and homosexuality in particular.

Hedonistic beliefs about revenge

Karolina Dyduch-Hazar, Blazej Mrozinski & Agnieszka Golec de Zavala

The project is funded by BST grant for PhD students awarded to Karolina Dyduch-Hazar by University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw.

People believe revenge helps to reduce pain and expect to reap hedonistic rewards (“revenge is sweet”) when they punish an offender. Although recent studies on retaliatory aggression indicate that people retaliate to feel better (Chester & DeWall, 2017; 2018), there is no method of measurement to what extent people believe that revenge brings emotional reward (Carlsmith, Wilson, & Gilbert, 2008; Eadeh, Peak, & Lambert, 2017; Gollwitzer & Bushman, 2012).

The purpose of the project is to validate the novel Hedonistic Beliefs about Revenge Scale that measures the expectations of emotional reward from harming others in response to feeling oneself harmed by them.

Impact of mindfulness on racial prejudice

Magdalena Mazurkiewicz & Agnieszka Golec de Zavala

The project is funded by BST grant for PhD students awarded to Magdalena Mazurkiewicz by University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw.

The project will test mindfulness practice to determine whether such an ability to focus on ongoing events in a non- judgmental, open manner can affect reduction of racial prejudice to lessening the fear of death in the context of heightened mortality salience.

According to the Terror Management Theory (Pyszczynski, Salomon & Greenberg, 2003), people experiencing mortality salience tend to defend their worldviews by devaluing outside groups. Whereas mindfulness, according to a series of recent studies, play role of a moderator in reducing the fear of death and ameliorating defensive worldview attitudes in the face of mortality salience (Niemiec et al, 2010). There is likewise evidence for the use of short, cognitive mindfulness interventions to reduce implicit prejudice (Lueke & Gibson, 2015). However, the mechanism of this effect remains unclear.

We plan to conduct a cross-sectional study to test a model in which mindfulness practice is a moderator of the effect of mortality salience on racial prejudice (implicite and explicit) via fear of death. Our project can help formulate ways to reduce existential fear and, in turn, reduce racial prejudice. Furthermore, the project will also support a better understanding of the cognitive mechanism of mindfulness underlying the effect of prejudice reduction.

Narcissistic ingroup love in Europe: Threat, identity indispensability and extreme forms of national identification

Principal Investigator: Rita Guerra, ISCTE-IUL
Team: Agnieszka Golec de Zavala, Goldsmiths, University of London; Constantine Sedikides, University of Southampton; Georgios Abakoumkin, University of Thessaly; Tim Wildschut, University of Southampton

Project is funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Portugal (FCT).

The project examines whether in a context of a shared identity, threat to the national group status increases narcissistic rather than genuine ingroup love, triggering then intergroup hostility. The project uses cross-sectional surveys and experiments to test these ideas in the context of the Europe's crisis, specifically focusing on countries of low (Portugal and Greece) and high economic status (UK and Germany) within the European Union (EU). It is expected to contribute to both theory advancement and the development of guidelines to promote secure and non-narcissistic forms of national identification. This is especially relevant in the midst of the recent crisis in Europe along with the increase of extreme right and anti-European parties represented in the EU Parliament.