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Uncertainty avoidance and tough-mindedness as the psychological bases of political orientation
University of Latvia.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4129-1743
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2056-0526
Uppsala Universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7811-1390
2014 (English)Conference paper, Poster (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This study tests a theoretical model where the social dimension of political orientation (acceptance vs. rejection of social change) is represented as acceptance vs. avoidance of uncertainty, and the economic dimension (acceptance vs. rejection of inequality) is represented as tough mindedness vs. empathy. The former axis corresponds to the conservation-openness to change dimension in the Schwartz's (1992) value model; the latter axis corresponds to the self-enhancement vs. self-transcendence dimension. {Schwartz, 1992 #322}Two secondary axes represent the possible combinations of the variables defining the primary axes. Tough mindedness in combination with uncertainty avoidance result in high system justification, whereas empathy in combination with uncertainty acceptance represents low system justification. This axis corresponds to the growth vs. self-protection dimension of the refined Schwartz et al. (2011) value model. Tough mindedness in combination with uncertainty acceptance results in preference for self-reliance, whereas the opposite combination represents preference for dependence on others. This axis corresponds to the social vs. personal focus of the Schwartz et al. (2011) value model. Participants (N = 287) completed measures of SDO, RWA, system justification, NFC, moral motives, values, dependence, and a number of political attitude measures. Multidimensional scaling supported the proposed model. The results show that the network of political beliefs and attitudes that represents individual political orientation can be largely reduced to the basic psychological variables of uncertainty avoidance and tough-mindedness, and that both dimensions of political orientation are separable, both theoretically and empirically. The model allows a deeper analysis of individual political orientation beyond a simple liberal-conservative division.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-26769Local ID: 705/42/2012OAI: diva2:799409
The 37th Annual Scientific Meeting of The International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP), July 4-7th, Rome, Italy.
Psychological mechanisms underlying political orientations in an old and a new democracy
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, A056-12
Available from: 2015-03-30 Created: 2015-03-30 Last updated: 2015-07-17Bibliographically approved

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