Research Shows “Victim Mentality” Leads to Support of Political Violence - Yuri A / - Yuri A /

Following George Floyd’s death in the summer of 2020, anyone watching the nation erupt in violence was hardly surprised. It was as predictable as sunrise and the COVID mandates that followed in 2021.   

Progressives and liberals have long been linked to “politically motivated” violence, hardly needing an excuse to loot and burn cities to the ground. However, the Journal of Violence recently published research that explains why Democrats are so quick to turn to chaos and aggression. 

It turns out that the tendency to support political violence is directly linked to the “victim mentality” encouraged by the left. 

While previous studies had connected violent extremism to trauma, mistreatment, and perceived “deprivation,” research now adds “trait victimhood” to the mix. Trait victimhood is a continual inclination to view oneself as a victim in life, and it has now been revealed to be a driving force in those supportive of, or partaking in, political violence. While prior studies uncovered a strong association between trait victimhood, vigilantism, and cyberbullying, the previous investigations had not explored how the sense of feeling “aggrieved” correlated with the expression of those grievances through violent actions. 

The research paper, “Perceived Victimhood Shapes Support for Inter-Partisan Political Violence in the United States,” was conducted among a widely diverse American demographic, and the results were astounding. 

In the first of a series of three studies, researchers discovered a strong link between trait victimhood and support for political violence. People who constantly dwell on injustices done to them or seek acknowledgment for harm those injustices caused were more inclined to support the idea that violence is acceptable when used by a group fighting for a “just cause.” 

For the second study, researchers used a larger sample size. They selected 1,000 participants, split between Democrats and Republicans. It also introduced new criteria, including the participants’ perception of “intergroup competitive victimhood.” This theory is a perception of “competition” to represent one’s group as having suffered the most injustice.  

The study asked participants to assess the degree to which they believed their respective group (conservatives and liberals) had encountered more injustice than the opposing group and weighed results against the respondents’ support of politically motivated violence. 

The results of the second study proved that both trait victimhood and competitive victimhood played decisive roles in political violence, as did the respondents’ past involvement in real-life political violence, like vandalism, threats, and physical aggression against those who disagree with opposing views. Trait victimhood was linked to previous violence but was not shown to play a part in non-violent political actions such as petitions and peaceful protests. 

The third study assessed the power of merely remembering situations of “competitive victimhood” was enough to increase an individual’s support of politically motivated violence for those already suffering from trait victimhood. The discovery implies that perceptions of group-based victimization influence attitudes toward violence, and this influence is potent when combined with an individual’s inherent tendency to feel victimized. 

The research was authored by the Head of the Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediation at Tel Aviv University and co-editor of “Psychological Intergroup Interventions,” Boaz Hameiri. Hamieri explained that while there were significant contributions of existing research to the understanding of radicalization and political violence, the theory was incomplete. Researchers noted that people can derive meaning in their lives in non-violent ways, leading the group to study other factors influencing radicalization and violence. The theory of trait victimhood is a personality construct first recognized by Hamieri, and the research validates its role in a person’s support for violence. 

It’s important to note that while this initial research was conducted among American Democrats and Republicans, the group has since extended its research to other countries across the globe. The results of this expanded research are still awaiting publication. But for Hamieri, these astonishing results indicate a more in-depth assessment is needed to prove further the connections between “victimhood mentality” and political violence. He hopes that a more detailed study will help establish ways to combat the phenomenon. 

For Democrats, agendas like Critical Race Theory, LGBTQ+ discrimination, and “victimhood mentality” lead to the scorched Earth results they crave. And just in case this strategy fails, calling directly for violence against political rivals will finish the job very nicely.