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"Our Country Needs a Strong Leader Right Now": Economic Inequality Enhances the Wish for a Strong Leader.
Psychol Sci. 2019 11; 30(11):1625-1637.PS

Abstract

Societal inequality has been found to harm the mental and physical health of its members and undermine overall social cohesion. Here, we tested the hypothesis that economic inequality is associated with a wish for a strong leader in a study involving 28 countries from five continents (Study 1, N = 6,112), a study involving an Australian community sample (Study 2, N = 515), and two experiments (Study 3a, N = 96; Study 3b, N = 296). We found correlational (Studies 1 and 2) and experimental (Studies 3a and 3b) evidence for our prediction that higher inequality enhances the wish for a strong leader. We also found that this relationship is mediated by perceptions of anomie, except in the case of objective inequality in Study 1. This suggests that societal inequality enhances the perception that society is breaking down (anomie) and that a strong leader is needed to restore order (even when that leader is willing to challenge democratic values).

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin.School of Psychology, University of Queensland.School of Psychology, University of Queensland. School of Basic Medical Sciences & Forensic Medicine, Hangzhou Medical College.Department of Psychology, University of Exeter.School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland.Department of Interdisciplinary Social Science, Utrecht University.School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne.Faculty of Psychology, University of Indonesia.Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition et l'Apprentissage, Université de Poitiers, Université de Tours, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.Business Psychology Department, Institute of Business Management, Karachi, Pakistan.Psychology Department, Université Paris Nanterre.Institute of Psychology, University of Gdańsk.Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne.Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon.School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University.Department of Psychology, Université Libre de Bruxelles.Psychology Department, University of the Witwatersrand.Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.Department of Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.Department of Social and Organizational Psychology, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.School of Psychology, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.Department of Marketing, Business School, Chinese University of Hong Kong.Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus University.Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki.Department of Cognitive & Psychological Sciences, Nagoya University.Department of Psychology, University of Jena.Faculty of Psychological Sciences and Education, Université Libre de Bruxelles.Psychology Department, Federal University of Sergipe.School of Social Sciences, ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon.Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen.Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento.Institute for Psychology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.Department of Social Psychology, University of Helsinki. Open University, University of Helsinki.Social Psychology Department, Daugavpils University.School of Psychology and Human Development, National University of Malaysia.Department of Education, Kurukshetra University.Department of Psychology, Sonoma State University.Department of Psychology, Federal University of Paraíba.Department of Social Psychology, University of Groningen.Department of Psychology, Carleton University.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31566081

Citation

Sprong, Stefanie, et al. ""Our Country Needs a Strong Leader Right Now": Economic Inequality Enhances the Wish for a Strong Leader." Psychological Science, vol. 30, no. 11, 2019, pp. 1625-1637.
Sprong S, Jetten J, Wang Z, et al. "Our Country Needs a Strong Leader Right Now": Economic Inequality Enhances the Wish for a Strong Leader. Psychol Sci. 2019;30(11):1625-1637.
Sprong, S., Jetten, J., Wang, Z., Peters, K., Mols, F., Verkuyten, M., Bastian, B., Ariyanto, A., Autin, F., Ayub, N., Badea, C., Besta, T., Butera, F., Costa-Lopes, R., Cui, L., Fantini, C., Finchilescu, G., Gaertner, L., Gollwitzer, M., ... Wohl, M. J. A. (2019). "Our Country Needs a Strong Leader Right Now": Economic Inequality Enhances the Wish for a Strong Leader. Psychological Science, 30(11), 1625-1637. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619875472
Sprong S, et al. "Our Country Needs a Strong Leader Right Now": Economic Inequality Enhances the Wish for a Strong Leader. Psychol Sci. 2019;30(11):1625-1637. PubMed PMID: 31566081.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - "Our Country Needs a Strong Leader Right Now": Economic Inequality Enhances the Wish for a Strong Leader. AU - Sprong,Stefanie, AU - Jetten,Jolanda, AU - Wang,Zhechen, AU - Peters,Kim, AU - Mols,Frank, AU - Verkuyten,Maykel, AU - Bastian,Brock, AU - Ariyanto,Amarina, AU - Autin,Frédérique, AU - Ayub,Nadia, AU - Badea,Constantina, AU - Besta,Tomasz, AU - Butera,Fabrizio, AU - Costa-Lopes,Rui, AU - Cui,Lijuan, AU - Fantini,Carole, AU - Finchilescu,Gillian, AU - Gaertner,Lowell, AU - Gollwitzer,Mario, AU - Gómez,Ángel, AU - González,Roberto, AU - Hong,Ying-Yi, AU - Jensen,Dorthe Høj, AU - Jasinskaja-Lahti,Inga, AU - Karasawa,Minoru, AU - Kessler,Thomas, AU - Klein,Olivier, AU - Lima,Marcus, AU - Mégevand,Laura, AU - Morton,Thomas, AU - Paladino,Paola, AU - Polya,Tibor, AU - Renvik,Tuuli Anna, AU - Ruza,Aleksejs, AU - Shahrazad,Wan, AU - Shama,Sushama, AU - Smith,Heather J, AU - Torres,Ana Raquel, AU - van der Bles,Anne Marthe, AU - Wohl,Michael J A, Y1 - 2019/09/30/ PY - 2019/10/1/pubmed PY - 2020/8/5/medline PY - 2019/10/1/entrez KW - anomie KW - authoritarianism KW - economic inequality KW - leadership KW - populism KW - preregistered KW - subjective and objective inequality SP - 1625 EP - 1637 JF - Psychological science JO - Psychol Sci VL - 30 IS - 11 N2 - Societal inequality has been found to harm the mental and physical health of its members and undermine overall social cohesion. Here, we tested the hypothesis that economic inequality is associated with a wish for a strong leader in a study involving 28 countries from five continents (Study 1, N = 6,112), a study involving an Australian community sample (Study 2, N = 515), and two experiments (Study 3a, N = 96; Study 3b, N = 296). We found correlational (Studies 1 and 2) and experimental (Studies 3a and 3b) evidence for our prediction that higher inequality enhances the wish for a strong leader. We also found that this relationship is mediated by perceptions of anomie, except in the case of objective inequality in Study 1. This suggests that societal inequality enhances the perception that society is breaking down (anomie) and that a strong leader is needed to restore order (even when that leader is willing to challenge democratic values). SN - 1467-9280 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31566081/"Our_Country_Needs_a_Strong_Leader_Right_Now":_Economic_Inequality_Enhances_the_Wish_for_a_Strong_Leader L2 - https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797619875472?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -