International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

Correlates of Political Cynicism in Italy: A second study

Andrea Bobbio, Department of Applied Psychology, University of Padua, Italy; Luigina Canova, Department of Applied Psychology, University of Padua, Italy; Anna Maria Mang

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: Department of Applied Psychology, University of Padua, Italy
Research Area: Social inequality and social change

The present study aimed to analyze the correlations between Political Cynicism, that is “the extent to which people hold politicians and politics in disrepute.” (Agger, et al., 1961, p.477) (PCY; Pattyn et al., 2009), Civic Moral Disengagement “namely people tendency to make use of self-exonerative maneuvers when violating civic obligations […] in manifold domains, like business, work-place and politics” (CMD; Caprara et al., 2009, p. 508), Emotions towards Politics (i.e., respect, threat, fear and trust), the perceived distance existing between the respondent’s way of thinking and behaving and that of Politicians, and the extent to which politicians, as a group, represent the best of the Italian population. Furthermore, a measure of Political Orientation (low scores indicated a left-wing and high scores a right-wing orientation) and items capturing interest in politics  and participation in political-related activities were added. A sample of 230 students from Padua University took part in the research by completing a questionnaire. PCY resulted linearly independent from CMD. Positive correlations existed between PCY, threat and fear towards Politics, while negative correlations emerged between PCY, respect and trust. The higher the PCY score the higher the perceived distance existing between respondents and Politicians. The higher the PCY score the lower the belief that Politicians represent the best of the Italian populations. Finally, PCY scores were negatively correlated with Political orientation, and the higher the PCY score the lower the interest in Politics and the amount of political participation declared by respondents.