Bringing back the system: one reason why conservatives are happier than liberals is that higher socioeconomic status gives them access to more group memberships

Jetten, Jolanda, Haslam, S. Alexander and Barlow, F. Kate (2013) Bringing back the system: one reason why conservatives are happier than liberals is that higher socioeconomic status gives them access to more group memberships. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4 1: 6-13. doi:10.1177/1948550612439721


Author Jetten, Jolanda
Haslam, S. Alexander
Barlow, F. Kate
Title Bringing back the system: one reason why conservatives are happier than liberals is that higher socioeconomic status gives them access to more group memberships
Journal name Social Psychological and Personality Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1948-5506
1948-5514
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1948550612439721
Volume 4
Issue 1
Start page 6
End page 13
Total pages 8
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Why are conservatives happier than liberals? Napier and Jost (2008) argue that this is because conservative ideology has a palliative (system-justifying) function that protects conservatives' (but not liberals') happiness. We develop another rationale for this effect and argue that we need to examine how ideology (e.g., conservatism) is embedded in the social system and people's own place within it. In a study (N = 816), we find that conservatives are more satisfied with life than liberals and that conservatism is associated with higher socioeconomic status (SES). Taking SES as a starting point, we find that those with high SES have access to more group memberships and that this is associated with higher life satisfaction. We failed to replicate Napier and Jost's finding that system-justifying ideology mediated the relationship between conservatism and life satisfaction. We conclude that conservatives may be happier than liberals because their high SES gives them access to more group memberships.
Keyword Multiple group memberships
Political orientation
Social capital
Social class
System-justifying ideology
Well-being
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 9 March 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 12 Apr 2013, 04:32:08 EST by Mrs Alison Pike on behalf of School of Psychology