How to Combat Youth Radicalization Using Learning Psychology

Youth face radicalization risks due to social media, extremist messaging, misinformation, economic inequality, and political polarization.

Rising risks: hate crimes, shootings, incel threats increase. Normalized extreme views, 469 anti-LGBTQ bills in US hinder improvement.

Schools uniquely foster youth resilience to radicalization via student access, SEL programs, and understanding extremist mindsets.

Radicalization research advances by studying "structures of thinking" in information processing of extremists and non-extremists.

Extremist beliefs tied to lower cognitive complexity, resistance to conflicting evidence, and preference for intuitive thinking.

Healthy thinking counters extremism. Extremists possess specific thinking structures. Build resiliency against extreme ideologies.

SEL enhances thinking. CASEL: self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, relationships, decision-making.

Cultivating social awareness and relationship skills fosters integrative complexity, reducing the tendency to hold radical beliefs.