University of Sussex
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Research data for paper: Disrupting a (far-right) mobilisation discourages bystander support by decreasing perceived organisational efficacy and legitimacy

posted on 2023-04-19, 13:10 authored by Carina Hoerst, John DruryJohn Drury

Data for paper made available in PsyArXiv Preprints

This dataset contains quantitative and completely de-identified data from three online survey studies.

File: "Survey_data_pilotstudy" contains responses from participants (N = 198) regarding political and organisational efficacy, legitimacy, stereotypic competence, support intentions, and social identification in the context of an undisrupted mobilisation of a bogus radical-right movement. 

File: "Survey_data_exp1" contains responses from participants (N = 429) regarding organisational efficacy, legitimacy, stereotypic competence, support intentions and social identification in the context of the same movement but here participants were assigned to one out of three experimental conditions (control = undisrupted mobilisation; experimental condition 1 = disrupted mobilisation; experimental condition 2 = disrupted mobilisation due to mockery).

File: "Survey_data_exp2" contains responses from participants (N = 360) regarding the same variables as in experiment 1 but in the context of a mobilisation of an identity-neutral movement. The experimenal conditions were the same as in experiment 1.

The provided datasets do not contain data from participants that withdrew their consent nor any purpose statements given by participants. The participant IDs are continuous and completely de-identified. Complementary to the datasets, the surveys in worded form and supplementary material can be found n the corresponding OSF project ( This also includes pre-registrations ( (experiment 1) and (experiment 2)). R syntaxes can be found on GitHub: (pilot study), (experiment 1), and  (experiment 2). 


The far-right recruits from the public with detrimental consequences for target groups and democracy. Therefore, undermining mobilisation and public support is crucial. Previous research suggests that perceptions of movement or system efficacy are associated with corresponding support. This suggests a novel hypothesis about how disruptive protests might reduce support for far-right movements by reducing perceived efficacy and legitimacy. In a pilot study and two pre-registered experiments using vignette designs, we present evidence for a serial process by which disruption (counterprotest) to the mobilisation of a far-right social movement is associated with a reduction in support intentions among moderate and high identifiers via reduced perceived efficacy and legitimacy. In Experiment 1, we introduced participants to a bogus far-right social movement which campaigned for stricter treatment of refugees. We found that disruption (vs none) was associated with a decrease in support intention among participants via perceiving the group as less organisationally efficacious and legitimate. There was some evidence that among high identifiers, the direct effect of witnessing disruption was associated with an increase in support intention, further emphasising the importance of the mediators. In Experiment 2, we used a neutral movement to test for generality and found the same indirect serial effects. However, since we found no significant direct effects here, the (increasingly rhetorically inflated) issue of asylum policies may explain the significant direct effect in Experiment 1. We also examined whether mockery aimed at decreasing legitimacy would have an even stronger effect but found no evidence for that. Practical implications of our findings for societies where counterprotest is often punished are discussed.


This work was supported by the School of Psychology, University of Sussex (UK).


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