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Individual Differences in (Mis)perceptions of Economic Inequality: The Role of Ideology, Abstraction, News Consumption and Rationality

Mårtensson, Erika LU (2017) PSYP01 20171
Department of Psychology
Abstract (Swedish)
The aim of this study was to investigate how and why people misperceive the magnitude of
economic differences. It was hypothesized that news consumption frequency, rationality and abstract-mindedness would predict accuracy in estimations of economic differences; and that economic ideology motivation would predict inaccuracy in estimations of economic differences. Moreover, it was hypothesized that greater levels of concrete-mindedness and economic conservatism would predict underestimation of economic differences, whereas greater levels of concrete-mindedness and economic liberalism would predict overestimation of economic differences. Data was collected by means of a questionnaire and consisted of responses from 223 participants.... (More)
The aim of this study was to investigate how and why people misperceive the magnitude of
economic differences. It was hypothesized that news consumption frequency, rationality and abstract-mindedness would predict accuracy in estimations of economic differences; and that economic ideology motivation would predict inaccuracy in estimations of economic differences. Moreover, it was hypothesized that greater levels of concrete-mindedness and economic conservatism would predict underestimation of economic differences, whereas greater levels of concrete-mindedness and economic liberalism would predict overestimation of economic differences. Data was collected by means of a questionnaire and consisted of responses from 223 participants. Perceptions of economic differences were measured by comparing participants’ estimations with objective data. Results indicated that the hypotheses were supported to various degrees depending on the format of the estimation items. When estimation items were formulated in terms of absolute quantities results showed that (a) news consumption frequency predicted accuracy, (b) economic ideology motivation predicted inaccuracy, (c) economic conservatism predicted underestimation, and (d) economic liberalism predicted overestimation. When estimation items were formulated in terms of proportions results indicated that (a) cognitive reflection predicted accuracy, (b) abstract-mindedness and economic conservatism jointly predicted underestimation, and (c) concrete-mindedness and economic liberalism jointly predicted underestimation. The results suggest that items measuring perceptions of economic differences are more valid when expressed in terms of absolute quantities. The study contributes to construal level theory and system justification theory, as it reveals that the direction of misperceptions of economic differences depend on the interaction of abstract-mindedness and political-economic ideology. (Less)
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author
Mårtensson, Erika LU
supervisor
organization
course
PSYP01 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
ideology, system justification, construal level theory, media, rationality, cognitive reflection, economic inequality
language
English
id
8912136
date added to LUP
2017-06-14 12:33:17
date last changed
2020-01-01 03:38:50
@misc{8912136,
  abstract     = {The aim of this study was to investigate how and why people misperceive the magnitude of
economic differences. It was hypothesized that news consumption frequency, rationality and abstract-mindedness would predict accuracy in estimations of economic differences; and that economic ideology motivation would predict inaccuracy in estimations of economic differences. Moreover, it was hypothesized that greater levels of concrete-mindedness and economic conservatism would predict underestimation of economic differences, whereas greater levels of concrete-mindedness and economic liberalism would predict overestimation of economic differences. Data was collected by means of a questionnaire and consisted of responses from 223 participants. Perceptions of economic differences were measured by comparing participants’ estimations with objective data. Results indicated that the hypotheses were supported to various degrees depending on the format of the estimation items. When estimation items were formulated in terms of absolute quantities results showed that (a) news consumption frequency predicted accuracy, (b) economic ideology motivation predicted inaccuracy, (c) economic conservatism predicted underestimation, and (d) economic liberalism predicted overestimation. When estimation items were formulated in terms of proportions results indicated that (a) cognitive reflection predicted accuracy, (b) abstract-mindedness and economic conservatism jointly predicted underestimation, and (c) concrete-mindedness and economic liberalism jointly predicted underestimation. The results suggest that items measuring perceptions of economic differences are more valid when expressed in terms of absolute quantities. The study contributes to construal level theory and system justification theory, as it reveals that the direction of misperceptions of economic differences depend on the interaction of abstract-mindedness and political-economic ideology.},
  author       = {Mårtensson, Erika},
  keyword      = {ideology,system justification,construal level theory,media,rationality,cognitive reflection,economic inequality},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Individual Differences in (Mis)perceptions of Economic Inequality: The Role of Ideology, Abstraction, News Consumption and Rationality},
  year         = {2017},
}