SciCombinator

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Concept: Right-wing populism

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Any effort to situate Trump’s ascendance in the broader currents of cross-national developments, or in the longer course of American political development, must begin by recognizing it as a curious hybrid of populism and plutocracy. Although American right-wing populism has real social roots, it has long been nurtured by powerful elites seeking to undercut support for modern structures of economic regulation and the welfare state. American political institutions offered a distinctive opportunity for a populist figure to draw on this fury to first capture the nomination of the GOP, and from that position to ascend to the White House. Yet the administration’s substantive agenda constitutes a full-throated endorsement of the GOP economic elite’s long-standing demands for cuts in social spending, tax reductions for the wealthy, and the gutting of consumer, worker and environmental protections. The chasm between Trump’s rhetoric and his actions justifies a more skeptical assessment of the breadth and depth of American populism, one that acknowledges how its contours are shaped by the nation’s unusual political institutions, its intensifying political polarization and the out-sized influence of the wealthy.

Concepts: President of the United States, Right-wing politics, Political spectrum, Unemployment, Right-wing populism, White House, Donald Trump, Populism

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We investigated the “rigidity of the right” hypothesis in the context of the far-right breakthrough in the 2010 Hungarian parliamentary elections. This hypothesis suggests that psychological characteristics having to do with need for security and certainty attract people to a broad-based right-wing ideology. A nationally representative sample (N = 1000) in terms of age, gender and place of residence was collected by means of the random walking method and face-to-face interviews. Voters of JOBBIK (n = 124), the radically nationalist conservative far-right party, scored lower on System Justifying Belief, Belief in a Just World (Global) and higher on Need for Cognition than other voters. Our results contradict the “rigidity of the right” hypothesis: JOBBIK voters scored, on many measures, opposite to what the hypothesis would predict.

Concepts: Left-wing politics, Right-wing politics, Conservatism, Political spectrum, Liberalism, Right-wing populism, Far right, Pim Fortuyn

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The current study investigated whether children’s mental representations of numbers are organized spatially at the onset of formal schooling using a manual-pointing task. First-graders (N = 77) saw four numbers (1, 3, 7, 9) presented randomly in four spatial positions (extreme left, left, right, extreme right) on a touch screen. In a Go/No-Go task, children were asked to press the appearing numbers as fast and accurately as possible, but only when the numbers were “smaller” (or “larger” in a different block) than 5. Results indicated that response times were significantly affected by the spatial position in which the different numbers were presented. Response times for small numbers (1 and 3) increased and response times for large numbers (7 and 9) decreased, the more they were presented towards the right side of the screen. These findings suggested that first-graders spontaneously employed a spatial number representation that was oriented from left to right. Furthermore, this left-to-right organization could not be easily changed by priming a different direction. Our findings indicate that even young children map numbers continuously onto space.

Concepts: Left-wing politics, Centre-right, Right-wing politics, Political spectrum, French Revolution, Cardinal direction, Right-wing populism, Far right

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Existing cross-sectional research considers citizens' preferences for radical right-wing populist (RRP) parties to be centrally driven by their perception that immigrants threaten the well-being of the national ingroup. However, longitudinal evidence for this relationship is largely missing. To remedy this gap in the literature, we developed three competing hypotheses to investigate: (a) whether perceived group threat is temporally prior to RRP party preferences, (b) whether RRP party preferences are temporally prior to perceived group threat, or © whether the relation between perceived group threat and RRP party preferences is bidirectional. Based on multiwave panel data from the Netherlands for the years 2008-2013 and from Germany spanning the period 1994-2002, we examined the merits of these hypotheses using autoregressive cross-lagged structural equation models. The results show that perceptions of threatened group interests precipitate rather than follow citizens' preferences for RRP parties. These findings help to clarify our knowledge of the dynamic structure underlying RRP party preferences.

Concepts: Econometrics, Panel data, Right-wing populism, Populism

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To examine and analyse the controversy over psychiatric aspects of the case of Norwegian far right mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik.

Concepts: Psychiatry, Political spectrum, Mass murder, Right-wing populism, Far right

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According to predictive coding models of sensory processing, stimulus expectations have a profound effect on sensory cortical responses. This was supported by experimental results, showing that fMRI repetition suppression (fMRI RS) for face stimuli is strongly modulated by the probability of stimulus repetitions throughout the visual cortical processing hierarchy. To test whether processing of voices is also affected by stimulus expectations, here we investigated the effect of repetition probability on fMRI RS in voice-selective cortical areas. Changing (‘alt’) and identical (‘rep’) voice stimulus pairs were presented to the listeners in blocks, with a varying probability of alt and rep trials across blocks. We found auditory fMRI RS in the nonprimary voice-selective cortical regions, including the bilateral posterior STS, the right anterior STG and the right IFC, as well as in the IPL. Importantly, fMRI RS effects in all of these areas were strongly modulated by the probability of stimulus repetition: auditory fMRI RS was reduced or not present in blocks with low repetition probability. Our results revealed that auditory fMRI RS in higher-level voice-selective cortical regions is modulated by repetition probabilities and thus suggest that in audition, similarly to the visual modality, processing of sensory information is shaped by stimulus expectation processes.

Concepts: Effect, Affect, Cerebral cortex, Sensory system, Probability theory, Repetition, Semantic satiation, Right-wing populism