This research was supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Academic Research Program of the Department of National Defence of Canada awarded to the first author. The views expressed in this article represent the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the institutions with which they are affiliated.
The Political Socialization of Commerce and Social Science Students: Epistemic Authority and Attitude Change1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 26, Issue 22, pages 1985–2013, November 1996
How to Cite
Guimond, S. and Palmer, D. L. (1996), The Political Socialization of Commerce and Social Science Students: Epistemic Authority and Attitude Change. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26: 1985–2013. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1996.tb01784.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
A 3-year longitudinal study assessed the effects of studying in the social sciences versus commerce on sociopolitical orientation. Results reveal field-specific changes in attitudes. Commerce students (n= 34) became, over time, more favorable toward “capitalists,” less favorable toward “unions,” and less likely to attribute poverty and unemployment to systemic factors. In contrast, social science students (n= 57) maintained liberal attitudes and became less likely to attribute poverty and unemployment to internal dispositions. Beliefs about internal and external causes of poverty and unemployment, while unrelated in 1st year, become negatively related in 3rd year but only among social science students. Measures taken in 3rd year to assess the influence of peers, professors, and courses suggest that peers have a generally conservative effect, even in the social sciences, while professors and courses have a liberal effect only in the social sciences.