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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Dr Ana Leite

Van de Vyver, J., Leite, A.C., Abrams, D. & Palmer, S.B. (2018). Brexit or bremain? A person and social analysis of voting decisions in the EU referendum. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology 28(2): 65-79.

Author(s) from Durham


The period following UK's European Union referendum in 2016 foreshadows significant social and political change in the UK. The current research draws on social psychological theories to empirically examine the drivers of voting decisions during the referendum. We report the results of a prospective study using structural equation modelling with data (N = 244) collected just before, and self‐reported voting behaviour immediately following (N = 197), the European Union referendum. We employ a person and social approach to examine the additive roles of worldview, conservatism, social identity, and intergroup threat as predictors of voting intentions and behaviour. Results showed that person factors (worldview and conservatism) predicted voting intentions through social factors (European identity and realistic threat) and that intentions predicted behaviour. The results highlight the importance of addressing threat‐based intergroup rhetoric and the potential of common in‐group identity to mitigate psychological threat.