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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Jun;1167:135-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04734.x.

Précis of implicit nationalism.

Author information

  • 1The Psychology Department, The Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel. ran.hassin@huji.ac.il


While the study of nationalism has received much attention throughout the social sciences and humanities, the experimental investigation of it lags behind. In this paper we review recent advances in the examination of implicit nationalism. In the first set of experiments we survey, the Palestinian, Israeli, Italian, and Russian flags were primed (or not, in the control conditions) and their effects on political thought and behavior were tested. In the second set the American or the Israeli flag was primed (or not) and prejudice toward African-Americans or Palestinians (respectively) was examined. The results of all experiments suggest that the implicit activation of national cues has far-reaching implications on political thought and behavior as well as on attitudes toward minorities. Under the assumption that the image of national flags is associated in memory with national ideologies, these results suggest that national ideologies can be implicitly pursued in a way that significantly affects our thoughts and behaviors.

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