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INEQUALITY & SWB .docx (590.85 kB)

Perceptions of Inequality and Subjective Well-Being: Connections with Political Orientation and Self-Actualization

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posted on 2021-04-16, 21:11 authored by William ArsenioWilliam Arsenio, Sweta Venkataramanan, Jenna Feldman
This study was conducted via the MTurk (online) platform. A total of 301 participants (72.4% between 18 and 40 years old, 151 female) completed self-report composite assessments of subjective well-being (SWB) and perceived inequality, and also measures of self-actualizing tendencies, and political orientation. Overall, participants who perceived higher levels of inequality had lower SWB, lower incomes, and were more politically liberal than their peers. Liberal participants also had lower incomes and lower SWB than their peers. Regression analyses revealed that higher incomes, perceiving lower inequality, and higher self-actualizing tendencies were all unique predictors of SWB, and that neither income nor political orientation moderated these findings. Finally, self-actualizing tendencies, unlike SWB, were not related to either participants’ political orientation or to their perceptions of inequality. Discussion addresses differences in the correlates of SWB and self-actualizing tendencies, and the importance of individuals’ subjective perceptions of inequality.




Declaration of conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • United States

Lead author job role

  • Career College Faculty

Lead author institution

Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University

Human Participants

  • Yes

Ethics statement

This research was approved by an institutional review board and is compliant with relevant ethical standards. All participants provided informed consent.


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