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Conservatives Are Happier than Liberals: the Mediating Role of Perceived Goal Progress and Flow Experience — a Pilot Study

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-11-22, 21:15 authored by Walid Briki, Lionel Dagot

Authors presume that conservatives would be happier than liberals because they would develop better mental adjustment especially under contextual threat. The present study aimed at examining whether self-regulatory factors (i.e., dispositional self-control, perception of goal progress, dispositional flow, and dispositional neurotic self-attentiveness) could mediate the link between conservatism and subjective well-being (SWB). It also aimed at testing the view that contextual threat (operationalized through undesired unemployment) may moderate the relationship between conservatism and the mediators under study. In order to examine this, 418 North-American participants from the United States (66.7% females and 33.3% males; Mage = 33.63, SDage = 11.64) answered questionnaires via an online platform, and structural equation model or path analyses were conducted. Main results revealed that: (a) conservatism positively predicted SWB, whereas undesired unemployment negatively predicted SWB; (b) perception of goal progress and dispositional flow fully mediated the conservative-SWB gap; and (c) dispositional self-control was highest in conservatives under contextual threat of undesired unemployment. Finally, this study suggests that conservatives can experience higher SWB because of adaptive cognitive adjustments. Moreover, this study suggests that the rationalization of inequality can have a self-enhancement function that bolsters self-regulation process when exposed to threatening contexts.

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Published in: Current Psychology
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  • English


Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Year

  • 2020

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University

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