Social interactions drive extremists

A key mechanism for individuals to become extremists is social interactions. The support provided through these interactions drive and “prompt” the idea that the radical change can be achieved.

People are more likely to become extremists when they are surrounded by others who can confirm or test their view – not when they are alone. The research found that political extremism is not specific to particular cultural or religious groups, nor is it part of individual psychopathy.

The study found that participants were more likely to rely on extreme action when in social situations, providing evidence that radicalisation is a social or group process.

Read more at Murdoch University