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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


'We now live in a whitewater world of unpredictability. Change occurs at a rate that the human mind is not prepared for. Arie Kruglanski's groundbreaking book is the place to go to discover how to embrace uncertainty and turn the stress of whitewater to your growth and benefit'

-Martin Seligman, author of The Hope Circuit

motivated mind

The Motivated Mind

closed mindedness

The Psychology of Closed Mindedness

lay epistemics

Lay Epistemics and Human Knowledge

Featured Works

Selected Papers

personality and social psych

Webber, D., Molinario, E., Jasko, K., Gelfand, M.J., & Kruglanski, A.W. (in press). The Way They See Us: Intergroup Metaperceptions of Syrian Refugees. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

personal relationships

Contu, F., Ellenberg, M. Kruglanski, A.W., & Pierro, A. (in press). People Act Extremely towards Their Amorous Partner When They Feel Insignificant. Personal Relationships.

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Ellenberg, M., Speckhard, A., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2023). Beyond violent extremism: A 3N perspective of inceldom. Psychology of Men and Masculinities.

aggressive behavior

Kruglanski, A.W., Ellenberg, M., Szumowska, E., Molinario, E. Speckhard, A., Leander, N.P., Pierro, A. Di Cicco, G. & Bushman, B. (in press). Frustration-Aggression hypothesis reconsidered: The role of significance quest. Aggressive behavior. 


DiSanto, D. Pierro, A., Ellenberg, M., Baldner, C. & Kruglanski, A.W. (in press). By All Means Necessary: Closed Mindedness, Ingroup Morality and Weapon Ownership. European Journal of Social Psychology. 

conflict terrorism

Kaltenthaler, K., Kruglanski, A.W. & Knuppe, A.J. (in press). The Paradox of the Heavy-Handed Insurgent: Public Support for the Taliban Among Afghan Pashtuns. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.

motivation and emotion

Resta, E. Mollenberg, M., Kruglanski, A.W. & Pierro, A. (in press). Marie Curie vs. Serena Williams: Ambition Leads toExtremism through Obsessive (but not Harmonious) Passion. Motivation and Emotion. 

psych science

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

psych science

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

current directions

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

April 13, 2023


Why do mass shooters kill? It’s about more than having a grievance
The Conversation

July 6, 2022


Looking into the psychology of Mass Shooting 
A Little More Conversation with Ben O’Hara-Byrne For Omny FM

June 27, 2022


The Use of the 3N Model Through Sports, to Reduce Extremism and Radicalization. (Scroll to 3.14 minute)
E Sport+ TV

March 18, 2022


$2.6 M In DOD Grants to Fund Studies of Climate Change Impact on Security

Rachael Grahame for Maryland Today

March 1, 2022


Putin is on a quest for historical significance by invading Ukraine and gambling on his own and Russia’s glory

The Conversation

December 8, 2021


U.S. Threat to Squeeze Russia’s Economy Is a Tactic With a Mixed Record

Patricia Cohen for New York Times

November 9, 2021

cinc ed

Violent extremism is on the rise. How to prevent people from turning to hateful ideologies

Cincinnati NPR Edition

November 4, 2021


'Hate at Home' addresses growing wave of violent extremism

Lucy May for WCPO Cincinnati

October 15, 2021


How to Moderate Extreme Thinking, Behavior and Obsessions at Work

David Wilkinson for Oxford Review

September 11, 2021

kronen zeitung

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

mj logo

Doctor, Lawyer, Insurrectionist: The Radicalization of Simone Gold

Stephanie Mencimer for Mother Jones

April 20, 2021

washington post

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)

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
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 

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)

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