Extreme Protest Tactics Reduce Popular Support for Social Movements

Extreme Protest Tactics Reduce Popular Support for Social Movements

Social movemenSocial movements are critical agents of change that vary greatly in both tactics and popular support. Prior work shows that extreme protest tactics – actions that are highly counter-normative, disruptive, or harmful to others, including inflammatory rhetoric, blocking traffic, and damaging property – are effective for gaining publicity. However, we find across three experiments that extreme protest tactics decreased popular support for a given cause because they reduced feelings of identification with the movement.

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