Making America less

Article metrics

  • 56 Accesses

How does the relationship between political leaders and their followers affect attitudes and behaviours? Kunst and colleagues show that the psychological closeness followers experience with Donald Trump is associated with more willingness to endorse and engage in political violence.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    Kunst, J., Dovidio, J. & Thomsen, L. Political fusion predicts willingness to persecute immigrants and political opponents. Nat. Hum. Behav. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-019-0708-1 (2019).

  2. 2.

    Horowitz, J., Brown, A. & Cox, K. Race in America https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2019/04/09/race-in-america-2019/ (Pew Research Center, 2019).

  3. 3.

    Human Rights Watch. United States: Events of 2017 (2019).

  4. 4.

    Freud, S. Civilization and Its Discontents. (Norton, 1989).

  5. 5.

    Mutz, D. C. Status threat, not economic hardship, explains the 2016 presidential vote. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. 115, E4330–E4339 (2018).

  6. 6.

    Festinger, L., Riecken, H., & Schachter, S. When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World. (Lulu Press, Inc., 2017).

  7. 7.

    Glowacki, L., Isakov, A., Wrangham, R. W., McDermott, R., Fowler, J. H. & Christakis, N. A. Formation of raiding parties for intergroup violence is mediated by social network structure. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. 113, 12114–12119 (2016).

  8. 8.

    McDermott, R. Leadership and the strategic emotional manipulation of political identity: an evolutionary perspective. Leadership Q. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2018.11.005 (2018).

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Rose McDermott.

Ethics declarations

Competing Interests

The author declares no competing interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark