Browsing by Subject "political attitudes"

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  • 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.
  • Helminen, Vilja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Objective. The aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between fear and anxiety, and political attitudes. It has been suggested that individual differences in political ideology stem from differences in threat sensitivity and that conservative political ideology acts as a defence mechanism against psychological threats. There is tentative evidence from previous studies that from different threat reactions fear specifically but not anxiety influences political attitudes. It is also unclear whether threat is connected to political ideology more broadly or just attitudes concerning some political matters. In this study I assess whether anxiety disorder symptoms that reflect differences is fearfulness and anxiety predict different political attitudes. Methods. The sample of this study consisted of 5,819 people born in Great Britain in 1958. Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, phobia, and panic were assessed at the age of 44, and opinions about political issues six years later. Exploratory factor analysis was used to assess how political opinions were structured into different attitude dimensions, and seven broader political attitudes were formed based on this. Finally, a path model was used to assess whether anxiety disorder symptoms predicted political attitudes. Results and discussion. The anxiety disorder symptoms predicted attitudes towards economic inequality and preservation of the environment. More specifically, those with more generalized anxiety disorder symptoms were more concerned about environmental issues and those with more phobic symptoms were more concerned about economic inequality. This difference between generalized anxiety disorder and phobias might be explained by the fact that the former is connected with anxiousness whereas the latter reflects fearfulness. The results support the notion that fear and anxiety are differently connected to political attitudes. They also call into question threat reactions’ connection with political ideology more broadly.