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Keywords:

  • conservatism;
  • cross-cultural differences;
  • need for closure;
  • motivated social cognition;
  • political beliefs

This work explored the hypothesis that need for closure is associated with the adoption of conservative ideology. Two different studies on eastern and western European samples (Polish and Flemish) supported the hypothesis that need for closure—as measured by Webster and Kruglanski's (1994) Need for Closure Scale—is related to conservative beliefs. However, in the second study, a negative relationship between need for closure and economic conservatism in the Polish sample was noted, whereas a positive relationship occurred in the Flemish sample. These results may be accounted for by the Need for Simple Structure factor of Neuberg, Judice, and West (1997) and by specific rather than non-specific epistemic processes.