Christopher M Federico

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Political Science .
1435 SocSci

267 19th Ave S

Christopher M. Federico is Professor of Political Science and Psychology and Beverly and Richard Fink Professor in Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. He currently serves as Director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for the Study of Political Psychology and as a Vice President of the International Society of Political Psychology. A political psychologist with interests that cross disciplinary boundaries, his research focuses in particular on the nature of ideology and belief systems, the psychological foundations of political preferences, and intergroup attitudes. Professor Federico is the author of numerous scholarly articles, co-author (with Christopher Johnston and Howard Lavine) of the book Open Versus Closed: Personality, Identity, and the Politics of Redistribution (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and a co-editor of the volumes At the Forefront of Political Psychology: Essays in Honor of John L. Sullivan (with Eugene Borgida and Joanne Miller; Routledge, 2020) The Political Psychology of Democratic Citizenship (with Eugene Borgida and John Sullivan; Oxford University Press, 2009). He is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2007 International Society of Political Psychology Erik Erikson Award for Early Career Achievements, the 2007 International Society of Political Psychology Roberta Sigel Junior Scholar Paper Award from, the International Society for Justice Research’s 2009 Morton Deutsch Award, and the 2018 International Society of Political Psychology David O. Sears Book Award for the book Open Versus Closed. He received his Ph.D. in 2001 from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: University of California, Los Angeles, 2001.
  • M.A.: University of California, Los Angeles, 1996.
  • B.A.: University of California, Berkeley, 1995.

Curriculum Vitae


  • political psychology
  • ideology and belief systems
  • political knowledge
  • race and politics
  • quantitative methods in the social sciences
Courses Taught
  • PolSci 4771 - Racial Attitudes and Intergroup Relations
  • PolSci 8107 - Quantitative Political Science
  • PolSci 8360 - Social Science Approaches to Inequality
  • Psy 3201 - Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Psy 8204 - The Social Psychology of Prejudice and Intergroup Relations
  • Psy 8205/8206 - Research/Principles in Social Psychology
  • Psy 8211/8212 - Proseminar in Political Psychology
  • Psy 8815 - Analysis of Psychological Data
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Vice President, International Society of Political Psychology: 2018 - present
  • Associate Principal Investigator, Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences: 2010 - present
  • Director, Center for the Study of Political Psychology, University of Minnesota: 2007 - 2011
  • President, APSA Organized Section on Political Psychology, American Political Science Association: 2008 - 2009
  • Johnston, C. D., Lavine, H. G., & Federico, C. M. (2017). Open versus closed: Personality, identity, and the politics of redistribution. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Davis, N. T., & Federico, C. M. (2018). Constructing images of the divine: Latent heterogeneity in Americans’ impressions of God. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. doi:
  • Kearns, E. M., Asal, V., Walsh, J. I., Federico, C. M., & Lemieux, A. (2018). Political action as a function of grievances, risk, and social identity: An experimental approach. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. doi:
  • Ekstrom, P. D., & Federico, C. M. (2018). Personality and political preferences over time: Evidence from a multi-wave longitudinal study. Journal of Personality. doi:
  • Han, J., & Federico, C. M. (2018). The polarizing effect of news framing: Comparing the mediating roles of motivated reasoning, self-stereotyping, and intergroup animus. Journal of Communication, 68, 685-711. doi: 10.1093/joc/jqy025
  • Federico, C. M., Williams, A. L., & Vitriol, J. A. (2018). The role of system identity threat in conspiracy theory endorsement. European Journal of Social Psychology, 48, 927-938. doi:
  • Golec de Zavala, A., & Federico, C. M. (2018). Collective narcissism and the growth of conspiratorial thinking over the course of the 2016 United States presidential election: A longitudinal analysis. European Journal of Social Psychology, 48, 1011-1018. Doi:
  • Federico, C. M., & Aguilera, R. (2018). The distinct pattern of relationships between the Big Five and racial resentment among white Americans. Social Psychological & Personality Science. doi: 10.1177/1948550617752063
  • Federico, C. M., & Ekstrom, P. D. (2018). The political self: How identity aligns preferences with epistemic needs. Psychological Science, 29, 901-913. doi: 10.1177/0956797617748679
  • Appleby, J., & Federico, C. M. (2018). The racialization of electoral fairness in the 2008 and 2012 United States presidential elections. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 21, 979-996. doi: 10.1177/1368430217691364
  • Federico, C. M., & Malka, A. (2018). The contingent, contextual nature of the relationship between needs for security and certainty and political preferences: Evidence and implications. Advances in Political Psychology, S1, 3-48. doi: 10.1111/pops.12477
  • Federico, C. M., & Golec de Zavala, A. (2018). Collective narcissism and the 2016 U.S. presidential vote. Public Opinion Quarterly, 82, 110-121. doi: 10.1093/poq/nfx048
  • Luttig, M. D., Federico, C. M., & Lavine, H. G. (2017). Supporters and opponents of Donald Trump respond differently to racial cues: An experimental analysis. Research & Politics, 4, 1-8. doi: 10.1177/2053168017737411
  • Han, J., & Federico, C. M. (2017). Conflict-framed news, self-categorization, and partisan polarization. Mass Communication and Society, 20, 455-480. doi: 10.1080/ 15205436.2017.1292530
  • Weiner, E., & Federico, C. M. (2017). Authoritarianism, institutional confidence, and willingness to engage in collective action. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, 392-406. doi: 10.1177/0146167216686561
  • Federico, C. M., Fisher, E. L., & Deason, G. (2017). The authoritarian left withdraws from politics: Ideological asymmetry in the relationship between authoritarianism and political engagement. Journal of Politics, 79, 1010-1023 doi: 10.1086/692126
  • Federico, C. M., Ekstrom, P., Reifen Tagar, M., & Williams, A. L. (2016). Epistemic motivation and the structure of moral intuition: Dispositional need for closure as a predictor of individualizing and binding morality. European Journal of Personality, 30, 227-239. doi: 10.1002/per.2055Download
  • Federico, C. M. (2015). The structure, foundations, and expression of ideology. In A. Berinsky (Ed.), New directions in public opinion (2nd ed., pp. 81-103). New York: Routledge.
  • Edmunds, A.J., Federico, C.M., & Mays, L.E. (2015). Etiology of ideology: Origins of the political self through EI Theory, EI Self, and BEVI. In C.N. Shealy (Ed.). Making sense of beliefs and values, 303-330.
  • Federico, C. M., Johnston, C. D., & Lavine, H. G. (2014). Context, engagement, and the (multiple) functions of negativity bias: Commentary on John R. Hibbing, Kevin B. Smith, and John R. Alford, ‘Differences in Negativity Bias Underlie Variations in Political Ideology.’Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37, 311-312. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X13001192Download
  • Reifen Tagar, M., Federico, C. M., Lyons, K. E., Ludeke, S., & Koenig, M. A (2014). Heralding the authoritarian? Orientation towards authority in early childhood. Psychological Science, 25, 883-892. Download
  • Federico, C. M., *Ergun, D., & *Hunt, C. V. (2014). Opposition to equality and support for tradition as mediators of the relationship between epistemic motivation and system-justifying identifications. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, Download
  • Weber, C., Lavine, H., Huddy, L., & Federico, C. M. (2014). Placing racial stereotypes in context: Social desirability and the politics of racial hostility. American Journal of Political Science, 58, 63-78. Download
  • Federico, C. M., & Reifen Tagar, M. (2014). Zeroing in on the right: Education and the partisan expression of authoritarianism. Political Behavior, 36, 581-603. Download
  • Jost, J. T., Federico, C. M., & Napier, J. L. (2013). Political ideologies and their social psychological functions. In M. Freeden (Ed.). Handbook of political ideologies, 232-250. Download
  • Federico, C. M., Weber, C. R., *Ergun, D., & *Hunt, C. V. (2013). Mapping the connections between politics and morality: The multiple sociopolitical orientations involved in moral intuition. Political Psychology, 34, 589-610. Download
  • Federico, C. M., Hunt, C. V., & Fisher, E.L. (2013). Uncertainty and status-based asymmetries in the distinction between the "good" us and the "bad" them: Evidence that group status strengthens the relationship between the need for cognitive closure and extremity in intergroup differentiation. Journal of Social Issues, 69, 473-494. Download
  • Federico, C. M., & Hunt, C. V. (2013). Political information, political involvement, and reliance on ideology in political evaluation. Political Behavior, 35, 89-112. Download
  • Weber, C., & Federico, C. M. (2013). Moral foundations and heterogeneity in ideological preferences. Political Psychology, 34, 107-126. Download
  • Federico, Christopher Michael (2012). The social context of racism. In A. Golec de Zavala, Social psychology of social problems: The intergroup context. 30-56. Download
  • Federico, C. M., Deason, G., & Fisher, E. L. (2012). Ideological asymmetry in the relationship between epistemic motivation and political attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103, 381-398. Download
  • Federico, C. M., & Deason, G. (2012). Uncertainty, insecurity, and ideological defense of the status quo: The extremitizing role of political expertise. In M. A. Hogg & D. L. Blaylock (Eds.). Extremism and the psychology of uncertainty, 197-211. Download
  • Federico, C. M., Fisher, E. L., & Deason, G. (2011). Political expertise and the link between the authoritarian predisposition and conservatism. Public Opinion Quarterly, 75, 686-708. Download
  • Federico, Christopher Michael (2011). Ideology and public opinion. In A. Berinsky (Ed.) New directions in public opinion, 79-100. Download
  • Reifen Tagar, M., Federico, C. M, & Halperin, E. (2011). The positive effect of negative emotions in protracted conflict: The case of anger. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 157-164. Download
  • Borgida, E., Federico, C. M., & Sullivan, J. L., eds. (2009). The political psychology of democratic citizenship. New York: Oxford University.
  • Federico, C. M., Hunt, C. V., & Ergun, D. (2009). Political expertise, social worldviews, and ideology: Translating “competitive jungles“ and “dangerous worlds“ into ideological reality. Social Justice Research, 22, 259-279. (Winner, 2009 Morton Deutsch Award, International Society for Justice Research)Download
  • Goren, P., Federico, C. M., & Kittilson, M. C. (2009). Source cues, partisan identities, and value positions. American Journal of Political Science, 53, 806-820. Download
  • Borgida, E., Federico, C. M., & Sullivan, J. L. (2009). Political psychology and the study of democratic citizenship. In E. Borgida, C. M. Federico, and J. L. Sullivan (Eds.), The political psychology of democratic citizenship (pp. 1-20). New York: Oxford University Press. [Link]
  • Jost, J. T., Federico, C. M., & Napier, J. L. (2009). Political ideology: its structure, functions, and elective affinities. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 307-338. Download
  • Federico, C. M., & Goren, P. (2009). Motivated social cognition and ideology: Is attention to elite discourse a prerequisite for epistemically motivated political affinities? In J. T. Jost, A. C. Kay, and H. Thorisdottir (Eds.), Social and psychological bases of ideology and system justification (pp. 267-291). New York: Oxford University Press. [Link]
  • Fennelly, K., & Federico, C. M. (2008). Rural residence as a determinant of attitudes toward US immigration policy. International Migration 46,, 151-190. Download
  • Ilias, S., Fennelly, K., & Federico, C. M. (2008). American attitudes toward guestworker policies. International Migration Review, 42, 741-766. Download
  • Golec de Zavala, A., Federico, C. M., Cislak, A., & Sigger, J. (2008). Need for closure and conflict-strategy preferences: Experimental evidence for the moderating role of salient conflict schemas. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 84-105. Download
  • Weber, C., & Federico, C. M. (2007). Interpersonal attachment and patterns of ideological belief. Political Psychology, 28, 389-416. Download
  • Federico, C. M., & Schneider, M. (2007). Political expertise and the use of ideology: Moderating effects of evaluative motivation. Public Opinion Quarterly, 71, 221-252.Download
  • Federico, C. M. (2007). Expertise, evaluative motivation, and the structure of citizens’ ideological commitments. Political Psychology, 28, 535-562.Download
  • Federico, C. M. (2006b). Ideology and the affective structure of whites’ racial perceptions. Public Opinion Quarterly, 70, 327-353.Download
  • Federico, C. M. (2006a). Race, education, and individualism revisited. Journal of Politics, 68, 600-610. (Winner, 2007 Roberta Sigel Award, International Society of Political Psychology)Download
  • Federico, C. M. (2005b). Education, Ideology, and Racial Ambivalence: Conflict Amplification or Conflict Resolution? In S. C. Craig and M. D. Martinez (Eds.), Ambivalence, Politics, and Public Policy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [Link]
  • Federico, C. M. & Luks, S. (2005). The political psychology of race. Political Psychology, 26, 661-666. Download
  • Federico, C. M., & Holmes, J. W. (2005). Education and the interface between racial attitudes and criminal-justice attitudes. Political Psychology, 26, 47-76. Download
  • Federico, C. M., Golec, A., & Dial, J. (2005). The Relationship Between Need for Closure and Support for Military Action Against Iraq: Moderating Effects of National Attachment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 621-632.Download
  • Federico, C. M. (2005a). Racial Perceptions and Evaluative Responses to Welfare: Does Education Attenuate Race-of-Target Effects? Political Psychology, 26, 683-698. Download
  • Golec, A., Federico, C. M., Cislak, A., & Dial, J. (2004). Need for closure, national attachment, and attitudes toward international conflict: Distinguishing the roles of patriotism and nationalism. Advances in Psychology Research, 33, 231-251.
  • Golec, A., & Federico, C. M. (2004). Understanding responses to political conflict: Interactive Effects of the need for closure and salient conflict schemas. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 750-762. Download
  • Federico, C. M., & Levin, S. (2004). Intergroup biases as a function of reflected status appraisals and support for legitimizing ideologies: Evidence from the USA and Israel. Social Justice Research, 17, 47-73. Download
  • Federico, C. M. (2004b). Predicting Attitude Extremity: The Interactive Effects of Schema Development and the Need to Evaluate – and Their Mediation by Evaluative Integration. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 1281-1294.Download
  • Federico, C. M. (2004a). When do welfare attitudes become racialized? The paradoxical effects of education. American Journal of Political Science, 48, 374-391. [Reprinted in H. Lavine (Ed.), Political Psychology (Volume III: Intergroup Relations and Political Violence). London: Sage Publications, 2010.] Download
  • Federico, C. M., & Sidanius, J. (2002b). Sophistication and the antecedents of whites’ racial-policy attitudes: Racism, ideology, and affirmative action in America. Public Opinion Quarterly, 66, 145-176. doi: 10.1086/339848
  • Federico, C. M., & Sidanius, J. (2002a). Racism, ideology, and affirmative action, revisited: The antecedents and consequences of ‘principled objections’ to affirmative action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 488-502. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.82.4.488
  • Levin, S., Federico, C. M., Sidanius, J., & Rabinowitz, J. (2002). Social dominance orientation and intergroup bias: The legitimation of favoritism for high-status groups. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 144-157. doi: 10.1177/0146167202282002
  • Federico, C. M. (1999). The interactive effects of social dominance orientation, group status, and perceived stability on favoritism for high-status groups. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 2, 119-144. doi: 10.1177/1368430299022002
  • Levin, S., Sidanius, J., Rabinowitz, J. L., & Federico, C. M. (1998). Ethnic identity, legitimizing ideologies and social status: A matter of ideological asymmetry. Political Psychology, 19, 373-404. doi: 10.1111/0162-895X.00109
  • Morton Deutsch Award, International Society for Justice Research, 2009 (for the paper “Political Expertise, Social Worldviews, and Ideology: Translating “Competitive Jungles? and “Dangerous Worlds? Into Ideological Reality,“ with Corrie V. Hunt and Damla Ergun) , 2010
  • Erik H. Erikson Award for Distinguished Early Career Contribution to Political Psychology, 2007
  • Roberta Sigel Award for Best Paper by a junior Scholar, International Society of Political Psychology, 2007