Extremists 'more likely to publicly voice their beliefs'

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Washington, Oct 22 (ANI): A new American study suggests that people with relatively extreme views may voice their opinions more openly in public than those with relatively moderate thoughts.

The report says this is because extremists like to believe more people share their views than actually do.

The research conducted by Kimberly Rios Morrison, assistant professor of communication at Ohio State University and Dale Miller of Stanford University has been published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Speaking about the findings, Morrison said: "When people with extreme views have this false sense that they are in the majority, they are more willing to express themselves."

Morrison points out that people with extreme views often tend to believe that they are in the majority and thus represent the true views of a group, when most people in the group have a moderate position on an issue.

Morrison and Miller studied the views of college students on alcohol consumption to come out with their findings. orrison said: "Students who were stridently pro-alcohol tended to think that their opinion was much more popular than it actually was.

"They seemed to buy into the stereotype that college students are very comfortable with alcohol use."

The research can also be applied to the realm of politics.

For example if there is a community that tends to be moderate politically, but leans slightly liberal, those with extreme liberal views are more likely to publicly come out in defence or support of their opinion as they believe that others in the community support them.

Morrison said: "Everyone else sees these extreme opinions being expressed on a regular basis and they may eventually come to believe their community is more liberal than it actually is...The same process could occur in moderately conservative communities.

"You have a cycle that feeds on itself: the more you hear these extremists expressing their opinions, the more you are going to believe that those extreme beliefs are normal for your community." (ANI)

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