Effects of Evaluation of Societal Conditions and Work–Family Conflict on Social Cynicism and Distress: A Longitudinal Analysis1
Article first published online: 26 SEP 2011
© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 42, Issue 3, pages 717–734, March 2012
How to Cite
LI, F. and LEUNG, K. (2012), Effects of Evaluation of Societal Conditions and Work–Family Conflict on Social Cynicism and Distress: A Longitudinal Analysis. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 42: 717–734. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2011.00816.x
- Issue published online: 15 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 26 SEP 2011
Social cynicism, a general belief about the malevolent nature of people and social institutions, shows a negative influence on many attitudes and behaviors, but little is known about the factors that give rise to this belief syndrome. We hypothesized and confirmed the role of low evaluation of societal conditions as an antecedent of social cynicism in a longitudinal study in 3 Chinese cities. Consistent with the person specificity argument, we found that low evaluation of societal conditions exerted little influence on distress, a self-relevant outcome variable. Instead, work–family conflict, which reflects one's personal experiences, was found to be a significant antecedent of distress, but it exerted little influence on social cynicism, a worldview. Implications of the findings are discussed.