Number 16 (2011)

Radkiewicz, P., Skarżyńska, K. (2011). What strengthens/weakens the social darwinism? On the role of social experience, personality, personal values and embeddedness in a community

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Krystyna Skarżyńska
Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences
Piotr Radkiewicz
Instytut Studiów Społecznych, Uniwersytet Warszawski

Abstract:
The article presents a multi-layered analysis that seeks to identify psychological sources of social darwinism – the syndrome of negative beliefs about human nature and social world. The article described research that explores potential relationships between different domains of psychological life and the darwin-like beliefs. The authors inquire into psychological factors that lead people to perceive the social world as a jungle. They point to several fields, where one may find important predictors of social darwinism: 1) positive and negative experiences with people, disappointment by significant persons); 2) stable personality traits (agreeableness, openness to experiences, tough-mindedness); 3) personal values (individualism-collectivism, humanism-materialism, conservatism); and 4) various forms of embeddedness in national and civic community (patriotism, nationalism, symbolic and instrumental engagement). The analysis based on three survey research confirmed the hypothesized relationships between darwin-like beliefs and the four mentioned categories of psychological factors.

Keywords: social darwinism, negative beliefs about social world, experiences with people, personality, personal values, embeddedness in a community

Cite this article as:

Radkiewicz, P., Skarżyńska, K. (2011). What strengthens/weakens the social darwinism? On the role of social experience, personality, personal values and embeddedness in a community. Psychologia Społeczna, 16, 7–23
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