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Perceptions of Inequality and Subjective Well-Being: Connections with Political Orientation and Self-Actualization
  • William Arsenio,
  • Sweta Venkataramanan,
  • Jenna Feldman
William Arsenio
Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Sweta Venkataramanan
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Jenna Feldman
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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.