The primary goal of this symposium is to examine the importance of social psychological and personality research in the age of Donald Trump. Five presenters will describe their research and theorizing that either specifically investigates or speaks directly to issues related to the presidential election or the Trump government and policies. These presentations cover a broad and diverse set of topics. In particular, Rudman and Saud examine the impact of Social Darwinism and legitimizing social hierarchies on backlash effects and the appeal of Trump. Gabriel et al. investigate the role of the media and parasocial bonds related to The Apprentice on the presidential election. Dunning explores how misinformed voters and processes associated with the Dunning-Kruger effect impact civil debate and democracy. Campbell discusses characteristics of narcissism as they relate to Trump’s rise to power and leadership. Finally, Kteily and Bruneau investigate the relationship between support for Trump, his policies, and dehumanization of minorities. Together these presentations are impressive in their breadth and underline the significance of research in our field for understanding the success of Trump and his potential impact on American society and current politics.
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