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Carlos Alberto Rivera Garcia

  • DPhil
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • University of Texas at Austin Department of Government
  • 26Followers
  • 23Following

Research interests

Political Psychology; Political Behaviour; Terror Management Theory; Need for Closure

About

Experimental social psychologist with a keen interest in Political Psychology. I have a D Phil in Psychology from the University of Essex (2014). Using Terror Management Theory (TMT; Greenberg, Pyszczynski and Solomon, 1986), specifically the manipulation known as Mortality Salience (MS), I look at the way in which reminders of mortality mediate changes in political preferences patterns of voting behaviour and adherences to political parties. My research interests are both the in Social Psychology of Politics and Political Behaviour. I am particularly interested in understanding the psychological processes by which people develop, adhere, and adjust their political loyalties. My doctoral research on the support for different forms of political centrism was based on the interaction of Terror Management Theory (TMT, Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 1986) and Need for Cognitive Closure (NFC; Kruglanski, Webster, & Klem, 1993). I hypothesised that abstract reminders of death would activate the facet of NFC that seeks group consensus and stability (as opposed to deviation and persuasion). Following an MS or control induction, 156 participants evaluated politicians who switched political ideologies (moved from the left to the right). In line with recent research (Fu et al., 2007), results indicate that MS induced people high in NFC to express greater support for politicians seeking consensus in the political centre, compared to politicians endorsing liberal or conservative ideologies, an effect consistent with research linking NFC to desires for group centrism and collective closure. A second study (N= 170) clarified this issue further with participants evaluating political parties (rather than individual politicians) depicted as moving from their traditional left/right positions toward the political centre in one condition, or parties that remained true to their traditional ideologies in a second condition. Results revealed that participants high in NFC exposed to MS expressed significantly higher levels of support for parties moving from the right to the centre than for parties (including those moving from the left to the centre). A third study (N=276) explored how the activation of specific needs for cognitive closure via MS would result in an increased support for a centrist political party described as uniform in thought and enjoying an internal (vs. split) mandate for the party’s manifesto. The results further indicate that reminders of mortality amplify demands for consensus and clarity more than signalling a demand for ideological clarity. I also work as senior political advisor to the Central Government of Mexico.

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Editorships

Journal of Social and Political Psychology

Reviewer

2014 - 2016(2 years)

Professional experience

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

University of Texas at Austin Department of Government

August 2017 - Present

Founder

Political Psychology

January 2009 - Present

Project Manager

Cambridge Analytica

April 2017 - June 2017(2 months)

Teaching Fellow

Universidad Iberoamericana

January 2016 - May 2017(a year)

Political Psychology Advisor

Presidency of the Republic of Mexico

February 2013 - July 2014(a year)

Graduate Teaching Assistant

University of Essex

January 2006 - December 2010(5 years)

Underadvisor

Presidency of the Republic. MÉXICO

October 2003 - October 2005(2 years)

Speach writer

Presidency of the Republic. MÉXICO

October 2002 - October 2004(2 years)

Education

PhD in Psychology

University of Essex

November 2008 - August 2014(6 years)

MA in Political Behaviour

University of Essex

October 2005 - September 2006(a year)

Diploma in Political Analysis

CIDE - Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas

February 2005 - September 2005(7 months)

Psychology

Universidad Iberoamericana

January 1998 - December 2002(5 years)

Law

Universidad La Salle, AC

August 1996 - May 1997(9 months)