I am currently doing a Ph. D. in Psychology at the University of Essex (U.K.) under the supervision of Philip J. Cozzolino (Ph. D. spring of 2006, University of Minnesota). Using Terror Management Theory (TMT; Greenberg, Pyszczynski and Solomon, 1986), specifically the manipulation known as Mortality Salience (MS), I look at the way in which reminders of mortality mediate changes in political preferences patterns of voting behaviour and adherences to political parties.
My research interests are both the in Social Psychology of Politics and Political Behaviour. I am particularly interested in understanding the psychological processes by which people develop, adhere, and adjust their political loyalties.
It has been suggested that both epistemic and existential motives are highly interactive (e.g., Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, & Sulloway, 2003) therefore, I have focus my doctoral research into two particular sub-elements of this model: TMT and its interaction with Need for Closure (Kruglanski, A. W., Webster, D. M., & Klem, A., 1993), that is, the desire to have cognitive closure and maintain it permanently. In particular, I concentrate on how this existential threat interact with an epistemic need for closure by activating needs for consensus and agreement to, in turn, punish deviants from a perceived generalised political agreement.
I aim to pursue an academic career after finishing my Ph. D. in order to further test reshape and expand the scope of my research findings such as testing the interactive effects of MS and NFC in different national settings.
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