Researchers explore why some people will ignore their personal beliefs and go along with the more extreme beliefs of a crowd. They report acting against personal beliefs and adopting a fused identity becomes an attractive solution, especially if the reward is great.
Researchers conclude the mind of an extremist is marked by a mixture of conservative and dogmatic psychological signatures. Extremists tend to be cognitively cautious, slower at perceptual processing, and have weaker working memory. This is compounded by impulsive personality traits that seek sensation and risky experiences.