Distinguished Professor of Psychology | University of Maryland, College Park

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I am a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland, where I direct the Motivated Cognition Laboratory at the Department of Psychology. Among the projects the lab is currently pursuing are violent extremism, political activism, the quest for significance, coping with uncertainty, and closed-mindedness. Our research uses a variety of methods, including lab experiments, neuroscience techniques, computer modeling, text analyses, and surveys. Our laboratory collaborates closely with the Sapienza University of Rome (in Italy); the Jagiellonian University (in Krakow, Poland); the University of Groningen (in the Netherlands); Nanyang Technological University (in Singapore); and New York University Abu Dhabi.

three pillars

The Three Pillars of Radicalization: Needs, Narratives, and Networks

radical's journey high res

Radicals’ Journey: German Neo-Nazis’ Voyage to the Edge and Back


Coming Soon: Embracing Uncertainty (working title)

The Three Pillars of Radicalization: Needs, Narratives, and Networks

'I would have benefited significantly from this research.  I consider it a must read for all those engaged in the war of ideas, and committed to fighting this pernicious and impending global threat”

-John R. Allen, General, USMC (Ret.), former Commander, NATO ISAF and U.S. Forces Afghanistan (2011-2013) and Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State

motivated mind

The Motivated Mind

closed mindedness

The Psychology of Closed Mindedness

lay epistemics

Lay Epistemics and Human Knowledge

Featured Works

Selected Papers

Szumowska, E., Wojcik, N., Schwed, P. & Kruglanski, A.W. (in press) Say who? Credibility Effects in Self-Verification Strivings. Psychological Science.


Pica, G. Milyavsky, M., Pierro, A., & Kruglanski, A.W. (in press). The Epistemic Bases of Changes of Opinion and Choices:The Joint Effects of the Need for Cognitive Closure, Ascribed Epistemic Authority and Quality of Advice. European Journal of Social PsychologyPDF


Szumowska, E. & Kruglanski, A.W. (in press). The psychology of getting busy: Multitasking as a consequence of goal activation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: GeneralPDF

Jasko, K, Webber, D. Molinario, E. & Kruglanski, A.W. (in press). Ideological Extremism among Syrian Refugees Is Negatively Related to Intentions to Migrate to the West. Psychological Science. PDF

Kruglanski, A.W., Szumowska, E. & Kopetz. C.E. (in press). The call of the wild: How extremism happens. Current Directions in Psychological SciencePDF

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Jasko, K., Grzymala-Maoszczynska, J., Maj, M., Szastok, M. & Kruglanski, A.W. (2020). Making Americans feel great again? Personal significance predicts political intentions of losers and winners of the 2016 U.S. elections. Political Psychology. PDF


Webber, D., Kruglanski, A., Molinario, E., Jasko, K. (2020). Ideologies that justify terrorism and political violence. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 34, 107-111. PDF


Leander, N. P., Kreienkamp, J., Agostini, M., Stroebe, W., Gordijn, E. H., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2020). Biased hate crime perceptions can reveal supremacist sympathies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117 (32), 19072-19079. PDF

psych review

Kruglanski, A.W., Szumowska, E., Kopetz, C., Vallerand, R.J., & Pierro, A. (2020). On the psychology of extremism: How motivational imbalance breeds intemperance. Psychological Review. PDF

Jasko, K., Webber, D., Kruglanski, A. W., Gelfand, M., Taufiqurrohman, M., Hettiarachchi, M., & Gunaratna, R. (2019). Social context moderates the effects of quest for significance on violent extremism. Journal of Personality and Social PsychologyPDF

Kruglanski, A. W., Fernandez, J. R., Factor, A. R., & Szumowska, E. (2019). Cognitive mechanisms in violent extremism. Cognition, 188, 116-123. PDF

psych review

Kruglanski, A. W., Fishbach, A., Woolley, K., Bélanger, J. J., Chernikova, M., Molinario, E., & Pierro, A. (2018). A structural model of intrinsic motivation: On the psychology of means-ends fusion. Psychological Review, 125(2), 165-182. PDF

psych review

Kruglanski, A.W., Jasko, K., Chernikova, M., Milyavsky, M. Babush, M., Baldner, C. & Pierro, A. (2016). The rocky road from attitudes to behaviors: Charting the goal systemic course of actions. Psychological ReviewPDF

psych review

Kruglanski, A. W., Chernikova, M., Rosenzweig, E., & Kopetz, C. (2014). On motivational readiness. Psychological Review, 121(3), 367. PDF

psych review

Kruglanski, A.W., Belanger, J., Chen, X., Kopetz, C. Pierro, A. & Mannetti,  L.  (2012). The Energetics of Motivated Cognition: A Force Field Analysis. Psychological Review, 119, 1-20. PDF

psych review

Kruglanski, A.W., & Gigerenzer, G. (2011). Intuitive and deliberate judgments are based on common principles. Psychological Review, 118, 97-109. PDF

psych review

Kruglanski, A.W., Pierro, A., Mannetti, L. & DeGrada, E. (2006). Groups as epistemic providers: Need for closure and the unfolding of group centrism. Psychological Review, 113, 84-100. PDF

psych review

Kruglanski, A.W. & Webster, D.M. (1996). Motivated closing of the mind: "Seizing" and "freezing". Psychological Review, 103, 263283. PDF

psych review

Kruglanski, A. (1980). Lay epistemologic process and contents: Another look at attribution theory. Psychological Review, 87, 7087. PDF

psych review

Kruglanski, A. (1975). The endogenousexogenous partition in attribution theory. Psychological Review, 82, 3 87406. PDF

Press and Opinion Editorials

October 15, 2021

How to Moderate Extreme Thinking, Behavior and Obsessions at Work

David Wilkinson for Oxford Review

September 11, 2021

20 Jahre 9/11: Warum tun Menschen so etwas?

Martin Grob for Kronen Zeitung 

June 4, 2021

Was ist psychologischer Extremismus, Herr Kruglanski?

Suzanne Ackermann for Psychologie Heute

May 6, 2021

Doctor, Lawyer, Insurrectionist: The Radicalization of Simone Gold

Stephanie Mencimer for Mother Jones

April 20, 2021

Post-riot effort to tackle extremism in the military largely overlooks veterans

Paul Sonne, Alex Horton, Julie Tate for the Washington Post

April 14, 2021

A scientist’s opinion: Interview with Professor Arie Kruglanski about our need for cognitive closure during COVID-19

interview by Julianna Photopolous for European Science Media Hub

March 11, 2021


How the quest for significance and respect underlies the white supremacist movement, conspiracy theories and a range of other problems

The Conversation

March 2, 2021


Why Have So Many Recent Extremist Events Involved Ohioans? 

interview by Michael Monks for Cincinnati Public Radio (30:00 minute mark)

February 18, 2021


Psychologist details historic ties between pandemics and extremism

interview for CBS news

February 16, 2021

washington post

Pandemics have spawned extremist movements since ancient times 

Marc Fisher for the Washington Post

January 13, 2021


Extremism then and now. My discussion with USSMH historian Dr. Patricia Heberer Rite

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

January 12, 2021


Arie Kruglanski: One Survivor's Quest to Make the World a Better Place

Yael Luttwak & Megan Maggi

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

January 18, 2021


Experts discuss whether Biden can unite the country (third clip)

News Nation

January 17, 2021


Joe Biden's Options for Dealing with Donald Trump are Worse than Watergate

Steve Friess for NewsWeek

January 15, 2021


Insurrection at the Capitol: The Escalating Radicalization of American Politics

Becky Anderson for CNN World

January 11, 2021


What drives the pro-Trump mob

Understanding that psychology may allow us to mitigate and prevent far-right extremism.

The Boston Globe

June 9, 2020

State of Global Emergency: Rising Social Tensions During the COVID-19 Pandemic
World Government Summit (on YouTube)

March 20, 2020

3 ways the coronavirus pandemic is changing who we are
The Conversation

September 12, 2019

national interest
Are Syrian Refugees a Danger to the West?
The National Interest

August 7, 2019

How to Talk About People Disengaging from Violent Extremism
United States Institute of Peace (YouTube)

August 6, 2019

Rehabilitation of Violent Extremists
USIP presentation on C-Span

July 19, 2019

Are Syrian Refugees a Danger to the West?
The Conversation

June 18, 2019

Radicalization as 3Ns

Dan Raviv for i24 (YouTube)
washington post

November 2, 2018

The psychology of how someone becomes radicalized
Angela Fritz for The Washington Post

November 1, 2018


April 20, 2018


Reducing Prejudice through Empathy
moderated by David Gregory, CNN analyist

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

February 12, 2018


January 9, 2018

national interest
Understanding the Global Refugee Crisis: A Tale of 3 Myths
The National Interest 

September 27, 2017

How to Fight Extremist Psychology with Social Media
Miles O'Brien for PBS NewsHour (YouTube)

September 15, 2017

Why do People Believe Fake News?
Huffington Post

November 11, 2016  


September 7, 2016

15 Years of Terror

August 30 , 2016

science channel
What Makes a Terrorist (“Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman” Season 7 Episode 1)
Science Channel

April 30, 2013 

new yorker

Dr. Arie W. Kruglanski

3147H Biology/Psychology Building, University of Maryland

4094 Campus Dr

College Park, MD 20742


+1 301-405-5918 (O)

+1 301-204-6932 (M)