Flags are conceptual representations that can prime nationalism and allegiance to one’s group. Investigating children’s understanding of conflict-related ethno-national flags in divided societies sheds light on the development of national categories. We explored the development of children’s awareness of, and preferences for, ethno-national flags in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, and the Republic of North Macedonia. Children displayed early categorization of, and ingroup preferences for, ethno-national flags. By middle-childhood, children’s conflict-related social categories shaped systematic predictions about other’s group-based preferences for flags. Children of minority-status groups demonstrated more accurate flag categorization and were more likely to accurately infer others’ flag preferences. While most Balkan children preferred divided versus integrated ethno-national symbols, children in the Albanian majority group in Kosovo demonstrated preferences for the new supra-ethnic national flag. We discuss the implications of children’s ethno-national flag categories on developing conceptualizations of nationality and the potential for shared national symbols to promote peace.
Numerous scholars from different fields ranging from history, political science, ethnic and cultural studies, sociology, and anthropology have discussed ethnic and racial identity issues in the People’s Republic of China. Most have noted that there are competing narratives regarding the conceptions of race and ethnicity. Much of the scholarship has been based on social constructivist orientations. This essay is directed towards a merger between social constructivist and cognitive science approaches on essentialism that may open the doors for further research and investigation of this important topic.
What is the relationship between war propaganda and nationalism, and what are the effects of each on support for, or participation in, violent acts? This is an important question for international criminal law and ongoing speech crime trials, where prosecutors and judges continue to assert that there is a clear causal link between war propaganda, nationalism, and mass violence. Although most legal judgments hinge on the criminal intent of propagandists, the question of whether and to what extent propaganda and nationalism interact to cause support for violence or participation remains unanswered. Our goal here is to contribute to research on propaganda and nationalism by bridging international criminal law and the behavioral and brain sciences. We develop an experiment conducted with Serbian participants that examines the effects of propaganda as identified in the latest international speech crime trial as causing mass violence, and thereby test hypotheses of expert witness Anthony Oberschall’s theory of mass manipulation. Using principal components analysis and Bayesian regression, we examine the effects of propaganda exposure and prior levels of nationalism as well as other demographics on support for violence, ingroup empathy, and outgroup empathy. Results show that while exposure to war propaganda does not increase justifications of violence, specific types of war propaganda increase ingroup empathy and decrease outgroup empathy. Further, although nationalism by itself is not significant for justifying violence, the interaction of increased nationalism and exposure to violent media is significant for altering group empathies. The implications of these findings are discussed with respect to international criminal law and the cognitive science of nationalism.
The Cognitive Science of Nationalistic Behavior (CSNB), presented in this paper, integrates the political sciences of nationalities as invented communities with an evolutionary cognitive analysis of social forms as products of the human mind. The framework is modeled after the Cognitive Science of Religion, where decades of cross-disciplinary work has generated standards, predictions, and data about the role of individual cognitive tendencies in shaping societies. We study the nationalistic calendar as a cultural attractor and draw on cue-based behavioral motivation and differential autobiographical memory systems to explain its appeal to the human mind. Calendrical elements are analyzed in the context of essentialist thought patterns and action representation systems. We conclude with the implications of calendrical thinking on the control of elites who aim to forge and reinforce national identities. This paper lays the groundwork for applying a similar approach to the study of other nationalistic elements.
In 1934, attempting to extricate himself from the accusation of connivance with the Nazis, Jung conjectured about the existence of a Jewish complex. Recently, Jungian analyst Tirzah Firestone has argued that Jews suffer from a Jewish cultural complex which revolves around clusters of tribal traumatic experience. This discussion takes up from both Jung and Firestone addressing the question: The Jewish complex, whose complex is it? Stressing the relational element of Jung’s complex theory, developed into a theory of cultural complexes by Singer and Kimbles, the author of this paper, whose grandfather died in Auschwitz, places the Jewish complex among us Westerners, Jews and non-Jews. The Jewish complex is considered an affectively charged shared mental representation of a traumatic history, whose denouement is the Shoah, that affects us all. Cultural complexes such as the Jewish complex need to be understood relationally if there is to be any form of ‘resolution’.
The shadow of technological development has received significant attention. User tracking, emotional manipulation, disinformation, online radicalization, and restrictions on free speech have shattered the cyber-utopianism of the 1990s and early 2000s. Yet the solutions to address technology’s problems are framed as requiring more technology. This technological solutionism and its subsequent choices mask unconscious processes which give rise to new technologies. This essay is an attempt to interrogate the history of these choices by taking a depth psychological approach to the technological unconscious, beginning with the impact of writing on the psyche to the advent of computer screens. With technologies becoming more sophisticated and a primary way we interact with reality, it is vital to create a body of depth psychology literature on technology’s history and impacts.
Recent years have seen an increased interest in journal articles and books on the topic of synchronicity. Such scholarly interest is consistent with increased cultural attention given to synchronicity and changes to the social context in which spirituality thrives as a personal search for meaning, which may or may not relate to religion. Based on a review of the extant literature on synchronicity, this paper proposes a new taxonomy for better understanding and analyzing the growing phenomenon of individual and cultural interest in synchronicity. The taxonomy consists of four dimensions of synchronicity: Context, Process, Content, and Explanation. The primary contributions of this paper are (a) description and definition of the concept of synchronicity, (b) preliminary proposal of a taxonomy of synchronicity, and (c) outline of a research agenda to conduct theory-based studies of synchronicity phenomena.
Jung saw a role for the methods of natural science in analytical psychology alongside other ways of developing of knowledge. This paper puts a cryptic and undeveloped idea in Psychological Types to the test using the principles of Karl Popper’s philosophy of science. The idea is a combination of Jung’s philosophy, esse in anima, and his theory of opposites applied to politics. It is explained using a term coined by the philosopher W.V.O Quine—ontological relativity. There are key similarities between the two philosophical concepts, due to Jung and Quine having a common influence in William James’ radical empiricism. The ontological relativity of political opposites is subjected to three tests that attempt to falsify it. All three attempts at falsification fail, which therefore provides some support for the idea. However, there are a number of anomalous results that raise significant questions requiring further research. This paper should therefore be viewed as the first step in a programme of research to examine the ontological relativity of political opposites that is inherent within esse in anima.