ROPH researchers awarded

ROPH researchers receive APSA award for paper that shows that people with ‘Need for Chaos’ are prone to share hostile political rumours.

Michael Bang Petersen and co-author Kevin Arceneaux, Temple University, after receiving the APSA award. Photo: Bert Bakker

At the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA), ROPH director Professor Michael Bang Petersen and Assistant Professor Mathias Osmundsen won the Political Psychology section best paper award.

Their paper, "A Need for Chaos and the Sharing of Hostile Rumors in Advanced Democracies", examines the psychological motivations that prompt people to share conspiracy theories, "fake news" and other hostile content on social media. The key finding is that people who are inclined to share such content have extreme frustrations about their position in society and share hostile stories in order to disrupt the political system.

"My co-authors and I are honoured to receive the award. It also emphasises the importance the academic community attaches to dealing with various forms of online political hostility that confront Western democracies," says Michael Bang Petersen, ROPH director and professor at the Department of Political Science, Aarhus BSS.

The paper was written in collaboration with Kevin Arceneaux from Temple University, US.      

For further details on the paper, contact Michael Bang Petersen or see The New York Times:

The paper is available here: