Supporting protest movements: the effect of the legitimacy of the claims


value-oriented citizenship.

How to Cite

Passini, S., & Morselli, D. (2015). Supporting protest movements: the effect of the legitimacy of the claims. International Journal of Psychological Research, 8(2), 10–22.


Past research has investigated the motivations behind support to protest actions by mainly focusing on the relationship between the perceptions of protest movements and support itself. The aim of the present research is to extend this research also by considering the qualitative content of the claims advanced by the protesters. We analyzed whether supporting a protest depends on the legitimacy of the advanced claim (i.e. in terms of adherence to democratic principles) or on the legitimacy attributed to that group. One hundred and eighty Italian citizens (45.9 % women; M age = 41.64, SD = 13.69) responded to an online questionnaire concerning a protest movement. The design included 2×2 conditions: non-threatening vs. threatening type of group and unbound vs. restricted protesters’ claims. The results showed that support given to the protest is overlooked when the group is perceived as more threatening. However, the perception of the protest group has no effect on value-oriented participants who instead focus on the claims.


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