Ideology is a term widely used in everyday language, in philosophy and literature, and in the social sciences. It is well represented in research in political psychology, and more recently it has attracted attention in social psychology. Definitions of the concept vary considerably. A common theme in the research literature is that an ideology is a set of beliefs, shared by members of a group or collective movement, organized into a doctrine that guides thinking and behavior. In social psychology, the term refers to a systematic and integrated set of beliefs whose primary function is explanation. This explanatory function of ideology links the concept to social psychological theories of how people attribute causes to behavior. An ideology circumscribes thinking and entails commitment; hence an adherent ...

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