Browsing by Subject "CONSERVATISM"

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  • Lönnqvist, Jan-Erik; Szabo, Zsolt Peter; Kelemen, Laszlo (2021)
    The authoritarian personality is characterized by unquestionining obedience and respect to authority. System justification theory (SJT) argues that people are motivated to defend, bolster, and justify aspects of existing social, economic, and political systems. Commitment to the status quo is also a key characteristic of the authoritarian personality. It can be argued that the social context matters for how an underlying latent authoritarian character is expressed. This means that authoritarian regimes could be expected to lead to increased authoritarianism and stronger system-justification. We investigated this hypothesis in two representative samples of Hungarians, collected before (2010) and after (2018) 8 years of Fidesz' rule (N = 1,000 in both samples). Moreover, the strong version of SJT argues that members of disadvantaged groups are likely to experience the most cognitive dissonance and that the need to reduce this dissonance makes them the most supportive of the status quo. This argument dovetails nicely with claims made by the political opposition to Fidesz, according to which Fidesz is especially popular among low-status members of society. We found that measures assessing authoritarian tendencies did not change between 2010 and 2018. However, more specific beliefs and attitudes did change, and these effects were especially pronounced among Fidesz supporters. Their belief in a just world and a just system has grown stronger, while their attitudes toward migrants had hardened. Low status was associated with lower levels of system-justifying ideologies. However, low status Fidesz voters justified the system more than high status opposition voters in 2018, lending some support for the strong version of SJT. Our results suggest that beliefs and attitudes of Hungarians have changed between 2010 and 2018, and that political leadership played a crucial role in this.
  • Caprara, Gian Vittorio; Vecchione, Michele; Schwartz, Shalom H.; Schoen, Harald; Bain, Paul G.; Silvester, Jo; Cieciuch, Jan; Pavlopoulos, Vassilis; Bianchi, Gabriel; Kirmanoglu, Hasan; Baslevent, Cem; Mamali, Catalin; Manzi, Jorge; Katayama, Miyuki; Posnova, Tetyana; Tabernero, Carmen; Torres, Claudio; Verkasalo, Markku; Lonnqvist, Jan-Erik; Vondrakova, Eva; Giovanna Caprara, Maria (2017)
    The current study examines the contribution of left-right (or liberal-conservative) ideology to voting, as well as the extent to which basic values account for ideological orientation. Analyses were conducted in 16 countries from five continents (Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Oceania), most of which have been neglected by previous studies. Results showed that left-right (or liberal-conservative) ideology predicted voting in all countries except Ukraine. Basic values exerted a considerable effect in predicting ideology in most countries, especially in established democracies such as Australia, Finland, Italy, United Kingdom, and Germany. Pattern of relations with the whole set of 10 values revealed that the critical trade-off underlying ideology is between values concerned with tolerance and protection for the welfare of all people (universalism) versus values concerned with preserving the social order and status quo (security). A noteworthy exception was found in European postcommunist countries, where relations of values with ideology were small (Poland) or near to zero (Ukraine, Slovakia).
  • Helminen, Vilja; Elovainio, Marko; Jokela, Markus (2022)
    Conservative political ideologies have been suggested to correlate with elevated sensitivity to threat. However, it is unclear whether the associations between threat sensitivity and political attitudes can be observed with clinical measures of mental health. We examined how anxiety disorders predicted attitudes on several political issues. Participants were 7253 individuals from the 1958 British Birth Cohort study. Symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder, phobia and panic were assessed in a clinical interview at age 44, and opinions about political issues were self-reported by the participants 6 years later. Anxiety symptoms were associated with higher concerns about economic inequality, preservation of the environment, distrust in politics and lower work ethic. No associations were observed with racist or authoritarian attitudes, or support for traditional family values. We also assessed how political attitudes at ages 33 and 42 predicted anxiety disorder symptoms at age 44, revealing a possible bidirectional association between concern for economic inequality and anxiety disorder symptoms. These findings do not support an association between conservative political attitudes and elevated threat sensitivity. Rather, elevated anxiety may increase concerns about social inequality and the environment.
  • Lönnqvist, Jan-Erik; Kivikangas, Matias J (2019)
    We investigated the relation between economic and social attitudes and the psychological underpinnings of these attitudes in candidates (N = 9515) in the Finnish 2017 municipal elections. In this politically elite sample, right-wing economic attitudes and social conservatism were positively correlated (r = 0.41), and this correlation was predominantly driven by those on the economic left being socially liberal, and vice versa. In terms of underlying psychological processes, consistent with dual process models of political ideology, the anti-egalitarian aspect of social dominance orientation was more strongly associated with right-wing economic attitudes, and the conventionalism and aggression aspects of right-wing authoritarianism with social conservatism. Our results show that even in a non-United States context in which the masses organize their political attitudes on two independent dimensions, these dimensions are moderately aligned among certain parts of the political elite, and that the political attitudes of the political elite can be traced to underlying psychological motivations. We argue that equality concerns could play a role in explaining why the left-right and liberal-conservative dimensions are more strongly aligned among those on the left and those more liberal.
  • Pavlek, Martina; Mammola, Stefano (2021)
    Abstract Aim To disentangle the role of evolutionary history, competition and environmental filtering in driving the niche evolution of four closely related subterranean spiders, with the overarching goal of obtaining a mechanistic description of the factors that determine species' realized distribution in simplified ecological settings. Location Dinaric karst, Balkans, Europe. Taxon Dysderidae spiders (Stalita taenaria, S. pretneri, S. hadzii and Parastalita stygia). Methods We resolved phylogenetic relationships among species and modelled each species' distribution using a set of climatic and habitat variables. We explored the climatic niche differentiation among species with n-dimensional hypervolumes and shifts in their trophic niche using morphological traits related to feeding specialization. Results Climate was the primary abiotic factor explaining our species' distributions, while karstic and soil features were less important. Generally, there was a high niche overlap among species, reflecting their phylogenetic relatedness, but on a finer scale, niche shifts explained the realized distribution patterns. Trophic interaction was another important factor influencing species distributions ? the non-overlapping distributions of three morphologically indistinguishable Stalita species is seemingly the outcome of competitive exclusion dynamics. The distribution of the fourth species, Parastalita stygia, overlaps with that of the other species, with several instances of coexistence within caves. As inferred from the morphology of the mouthparts, the mechanism that minimizes interspecific competition is the shift in the trophic niche of P. stygia towards a more specialized diet. Main conclusions We showed that similarity in niches only partly correlated with the phylogenetic distance among species, and that overlaps in species distributions are possible only when a parallel shift in diet occurs. Our work emphasized how even simplified environments still maintain the potential for diversification via niche differentiation. Ultimately, we provide an ecological explanation for the diversification of life in an important hotspot of subterranean diversity.
  • da Silva, Erasmo Andrade; de Araujo, Helder Farias Pereira; Aleixo, Alexandre; Antonelli, Alexandre; Fernandes, Alexandre M. (2020)
    Several studies have shown that climatic change has been accelerating due to human activities, leading to dramatic effects on biodiversity. Modeling studies describe how species have reacted in the past to climatic change, and this information can help us to understand the degree of biotic susceptibility to current and future climatic change. This work aims to determine the effects of past, current and future climatic changes on the geographic distribution of the species complex Thamnophilus punctatus, a bird clade widely distributed across Neotropical dry forests. We also investigate if species that are phylogenetically similar have comparable climatic niches and, consequently, can be expected to respond similarly to climatic change. For this purpose, we calculated similarity, niche overlap, equivalence and genetic distance between all species, modeling their geographic distributions during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) as well as under current conditions and future (2050-2080) scenarios. Our results indicate that there are differences in responses to climatic changes from the LGM to the present among the five species of the T. punctatus complex and that the niches in the measured dimensions are not conserved among the studied species. We therefore suggest that the adequate environmental space of taxa of a widely distributed lineage can be shaped in distinct way, regardless of how closely related their species are or how much their niches overlap. Competitive exclusion in zones of contact is an important factor determining the geographical range of the species of the Thamnophilus punctatus complex, particularly for the very closely related species T. sticturus, T. pelzelni and T. ambiguus.
  • Mateo, Ruben G.; Broennimann, Olivier; Normand, Signe; Petitpierre, Blaise; Araujo, Miguel B.; Svenning, Jens-C.; Baselga, Andres; Fernandez-Gonzalez, Federico; Gomez-Rubio, Virgilio; Munoz, Jesus; Suarez, Guillermo M.; Luoto, Miska; Guisan, Antoine; Vanderpoorten, Alain (2016)
    It remains hotly debated whether latitudinal diversity gradients are common across taxonomic groups and whether a single mechanism can explain such gradients. Investigating species richness (SR) patterns of European land plants, we determine whether SR increases with decreasing latitude, as predicted by theory, and whether the assembly mechanisms differ among taxonomic groups. SR increases towards the south in spermatophytes, but towards the north in ferns and bryophytes. SR patterns in spermatophytes are consistent with their patterns of beta diversity, with high levels of nestedness and turnover in the north and in the south, respectively, indicating species exclusion towards the north and increased opportunities for speciation in the south. Liverworts exhibit the highest levels of nestedness, suggesting that they represent the most sensitive group to the impact of past climate change. Nevertheless, although the extent of liverwort species turnover in the south is substantially and significantly lower than in spermatophytes, liverworts share with the latter a higher nestedness in the north and a higher turn-over in the south, in contrast to mosses and ferns. The extent to which the similarity in the patterns displayed by spermatophytes and liverworts reflects a similar assembly mechanism remains, however, to be demonstrated.