This unique book lays out the motivational basis for tolerance, the most important underlying factor that shapes people’s social attitudes, and determines our ability to get along with others.
Closed- or open-mindedness distinguishes people open to information and new ideas, prepared to change their views, from people who are rigidly attached to their convictions and resistant to the unknown. Demonstrating how the mechanism underlying closed-mindedness is rooted in uncertainty and fear, with the fundamental consequence of closed-mindedness being intolerance, the author shows how basic features of human psychology drive large-scale socio-political developments that determine the fate of peoples and nations. Kossowska argues that recent political events across Europe, including the popularity and rise of extreme right-wing groups, are no longer adequately explained by traditional distinctions like people vs. the elite, religion vs. no religion, left vs. right. Exploring how this can provide knowledge to increase the capability of people, groups, or societies to improve their lives in an era of uncertainty created by economic and political turmoil, the book also focusses on discussing ways to make people more-open, thus tolerant.
Written from a psychological perspective, this is an ideal resource for students and academics in psychology, and social and political science, as well as anybody interested in understanding psychological mechanisms of intolerance.
‘There is no doubt that living in uncertainty is one of the leading experience of human beings across ages as well as a challenge. The book "Tolerance in the time of uncertainty" is a must for all those who desire to understand its nature, sources and consequences. The book very comprehensively, broadly and systematically analyzes these themes and thus provides for scholars as well as for lay psychologists wide scope knowledge about the combination of the context and human characteristic. This is very timely book as we have entered to a new uncertain period in which intolerance becomes one of its defining marks.’- Daniel Bar-Tal, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University, Israel
‘This important book lays out the motivational basis for tolerance, perhaps the single most important underlying factor that shapes people’s social attitudes, and determines our ability to get along with others, different from oneself. A particularly timely volume at times where forces of globalization and massive immigration make living with strangeness a universal imperative. The authors manage to compellingly demonstrate how basic features of human psychology drive large-scale socio political developments that determine the fate of peoples and nations. A truly impressive achievement.’ – Arie W. Kruglanski, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland, College Park, US.
Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. Social beliefs Chapter 3. Acquiring Social Knowledge – the Formation of Beliefs Chapter 4. Uncertainty and Anxiety as a Source of Closed-Mindedness Chapter 5. Towards Closed-Mindedness – How People Cope With Uncertainty Chapter 6. Does Content Matter Chapter 7. Closed-Mindedness and Intolerance Chapter 8. Motivated to Achieve Certainty Chapter 9. Content Counts… for Harmonious Social Relations Chapter 10. Some Final Reflections