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A Psychological Profile of the Alt-right, Perspectives in Psychological Science


The 2016 U.S. presidential election coincided with the rise of the ?alternative right? or ?alt-right?. Alt-right associates have wielded considerable influence on the current administrationand on social discourse,butthe movement?s loose organizational structure has led to disparate portrayals of its members? psychologyand made it difficult to decipher its aims and reach. To systematically explore the alt-right?s psychology,we recruited two U.S. samples:An exploratory sample through MTurk(N= 827, Nalt-right= 447),and a larger nationally representative sample through the National Opinion Research Center?s Amerispeak panel(N= 1283, Nalt-right= 71?160, depending on the definition).We estimate that6% of the U.S. populationand 10% of Trump votersidentify as alt-right. Alt-rightadherentsreported a psychological profile more reflective of thedesire for group-based dominancethan economic anxiety. Although both the alt-right and non-alt-right Trump voters differed substantially from non-alt-rightnon-Trump-voters, the alt-right and Trump voters were quite similar, differing mainly in the alt-right?sespecially high enthusiasm for Trump, suspicion of mainstream media, trust in alternative media, and desire for collective action on behalf of Whites. We argue for renewed consideration of overt forms of bias in contemporary intergroup research




Patrick Forscher, Nour Kteily

Date Published



Forscher, Patrick, and Nour Kteily. 2020. A Psychological Profile of the Alt-right. Perspectives in Psychological Science.


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