System-justifying beliefs and political disaffection

Authors

  • Agustin Echebarria Echabe

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of the Basque Country
    • Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Agustin Echebarria Echabe, Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of the Basque Country, 70 Tolosa Avenue, San Sebastian E-20009, Spain. E-mail: pspeteta@ss.ehu.es

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Abstract

This paper presents two studies which enquired into the role played by system-justifying beliefs (SJBs) in political disaffection and abstention from voting. The first (correlational) study revealed that politically disaffected participants defined by their reluctance to identify with any political option, preferring the “apolitical” option, are characterized by negative attitudes toward suffrage (regarded as useless), a past of frequent abstention from political polls, a low attachment to both SJB (meritocracy and just-world beliefs) and liberal values. The second (experimental) study showed that SJBs play a causal role in abstention from suffrage.

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