The Puzzle of Inoculating Against Radicalisation: A Lack of Long-term Effects and Unclear Underlying Processes
Dr. Sandy Schumann (Lecturer) & Michael Barton (University College London, UK)
Abstract. Attitudinal inoculation has been applied successfully in a range of contexts to confer resistance against persuasion attempts. Braddock (2019) was the first to demonstrate that inoculation messages could also attenuate the impact of extremist propaganda and potentially prevent radicalisation, notably, by increasing reactance. We present a conceptual replication of Braddock (2019) and examine, in addition, the long-term impact of an inoculation intervention. This pre-registered two-wave longitudinal study (N wave1 = 498; N wave2 = 403) showed that immediately after exposure to the inoculation message, and subsequent presentation of extremist propaganda, endorsement of the respective extremist group was lower in the experimental conditions than in the control condition. However, one week after initial exposure, support for extremism was no longer significantlyreduced for participants who had, rather than had not, seen the inoculation message. Moreover, exploring the processes that might drive inoculation effects, participants in the control (not the experimental) condition experienced a higher sense of reactance. Overall, results only partially replicated previous research. It remains unclear whether attitudinal inoculation could be employed to prevent radicalisation, and which theory of change would inform such interventions. Ideas for follow-up studies will be discussed and I very much look forward to your suggestions.
The seminar will take place at the center, as well as in this virtual seminar room.