Gilad Hirschberger, PhD

Gilad Hirschberger

Gilad Hirschberger, PhD

Gilad Hirschberger is Professor of social and political psychology at Reichman University, Israel.

Gilad’s work focuses on collective existential threats and on how threat perceptions influence and shape political cognitions. This work is guided by a multidimensional model of existential threats that he recently developed. In his research, he focuses on threats located in the past that cast a long shadow on the present, such as the memory of collective trauma, as well as on the perception of threats looming in the future, such as the Iranian nuclear threat. This research also distinguishes between threats of commission that are immediate and local (e.g., terrorism) and threats of omission that are universal and slow to develop (e.g., climate change; viral pandemic). Studying populations worldwide, Gilad shows that the perception of these threats is contingent on political ideology such that liberals and conservatives perceive certain threats while ignoring others.

Professor Hirschberger also conducts applied research for various non-government organizations. This research, aiming to define the parameters of a sustainable agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, includes opinion polls and experimental surveys conducted on the general Israeli population and on specific West-Bank settler populations.

Aside from publishing over 90 academic papers and book chapters, Gilad Hirschberger also occasionally writes for magazines and newspapers in Israel (e.g., aaretz, YNet, Alaxon) and the US (Washington Post). His book Group Survival: The Psychology of Collective Threat is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.