Project Radical Activation

What makes some people gravitate towards populist radical right (PRR) parties? Research reveals a link between personality and support for PRR parties, suggesting a deeper psychological influence than previously thought. However, a key question remains: How can personality traits, known for their stability, explain a fluctuating phenomenon like PRR support? Project Radical Activation aims to solve this puzzle by proposing a new framework that combines insights from psychology, political science, sociology, and communication science. We’ll explore the interplay between personal characteristics and environmental factors, examining how this interaction activates the link between personality and an individual’s susceptibility to PRR ideology. This project is supported by a NWO VIDI grant.

Start of the project

The kick-off of the project was in 2022.

Goal of the project

Project Radical Activation integrates various innovative methods, like physiological laboratory experiments, survey experiments, in-depth interviews, sentiment analysis and the analysis of quantitative observational data. By identifying how personality traits get activated and become consequential for PRR support, we want to make an important contribution to our understanding of the upsurge of the PRR, and, thereby, one of the most pressing challenges of our system of liberal democracy.

Current status

Radical Activation is an ongoing research project.

Researchers on this project


Matthijs Rooduijn

Gijs Schumacher

Daniel Komáromy

Other projects from Hot Politics Lab

Project Personality

In our currrent political climate, it’s important to understand the factors that shape politcal attitudes and voting behavior. Our ongoing research project ‘Personality and Politcs’ investigates how individual personality traits influence people susceptibility to populism, their political preferences, and ultimately, their voting decisions.

Project Under Pressure

In this project we study how people perceive and regulate threats and adopt political attitudes and behaviours to counter these threats.

Bert Bakker