Why Are Conservatives Happier Than Liberals?

  title={Why Are Conservatives Happier Than Liberals?},
  author={Jaime L Napier and John T. Jost},
  journal={Psychological Science},
  pages={565 - 572}
In this research, we drew on system-justification theory and the notion that conservative ideology serves a palliative function to explain why conservatives are happier than liberals. Specifically, in three studies using nationally representative data from the United States and nine additional countries, we found that right-wing (vs. left-wing) orientation is indeed associated with greater subjective well-being and that the relation between political orientation and subjective well-being is… Expand

Figures, Tables, and Topics from this paper

Are conservatives happier than liberals? Not always and not everywhere
Abstract Prior research has shown that conservatives report higher levels of subjective well-being than liberals (happiness gap). We investigate to what extent this phenomenon exists in differentExpand
Bringing Back the System
Why are conservatives happier than liberals? Napier and Jost (2008) argue that this is because conservative ideology has a palliative (system-justifying) function that protects conservatives’ (butExpand
Conservatives are happier than liberals, but why? Political ideology, personality, and life satisfaction
Political conservatives are happier than liberals. We proposed that this happiness gap is accounted for by specific attitude and personality differences associated with positive adjustment and mentalExpand
Why Do Conservatives Report Being Happier Than Liberals? The Contribution of Neuroticism
Previous studies suggest that conservatives in the United States are happier than liberals. This difference has been attributed to factors including differences in socioeconomic status, groupExpand
Culture Moderates the Relation Between Income Inequality and Subjective Well-Being
Liberal ideology promotes equality whereas conservative ideology justifies inequality. Four studies examined whether the liberal–conservative continuum moderates the relation between inequality andExpand
Why are Benevolent Sexists Happier?
Research indicates that the endorsement of sexist ideology is linked to higher subjective wellbeing for both men and women. We examine gender differences in the rationalisations which drive thisExpand
Liberal and conservative political ideologies: Different routes to happiness?
Research shows that political conservatives are happier than liberals [Napier, J. L., & Jost, J. T. (2008). Why are conservatives happier than liberals? Psychological Science, 19, 565–572]. RelevantExpand
The subjective well-being political paradox: happy welfare states and unhappy liberals.
This work demonstrated this SWB political paradox: more liberal countries and more conservative individuals had higher levels of SWB and explored measurement as a moderator of the political orientation-SWB relationship to shed some light on why this paradox exists. Expand
Why are conservatives happier than liberals? Comparing different explanations based on system justification, multiple group membership, and positive adjustment
This study examined the relation between conservatism and life satisfaction. Analyses based on data from a representative German survey (ALLBUS 2010) revealed a positive relation between conservatismExpand
Perceptions of Autonomy, Inequality, and Fairness
Several studies have demonstrated that income inequality has risen since the 1960s. Other studies have found that people underestimate the extent of the inequality. Reasons for these mis-perceptionsExpand


Ideology: Its Resurgence in Social, Personality, and Political Psychology
The thesis is that ideological belief systems may be structured according to a left-right dimension for largely psychological reasons linked to variability in the needs to reduce uncertainty and threat. Expand
Subjective Well‐Being and Peace
Hierarchical generalized linear modeling was employed to examine the relations between person-level subjective well-being (SWB) and peace-relevant attitudes, and how these relations vary acrossExpand
The end of the end of ideology.
  • J. Jost
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • The American psychologist
  • 2006
Studies reveal that there are indeed meaningful political and psychological differences that covary with ideological self-placement and are useful for understanding the political divide between "red states" and "blue states". Expand
The psychology of system justification and the palliative function of ideology
In this chapter, we trace the historical and intellectual origins of system justification theory, summarise the basic assumptions of the theory, and derive 18 specific hypotheses from a systemExpand
Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?
The answer to the question posed in the title is 'yes.' Using a total of 128,106 answers to a survey question about happiness,' we find that there is a large, negative and significant effect ofExpand
The Macroeconomics of Happiness
We show that macroeconomic movements have strong effects on the happiness of nations. First, we find that there are clear microeconomic patterns in the psychological well-being levels of a quarter ofExpand
Social Inequality and the Reduction of Ideological Dissonance on Behalf of the System: Evidence of Enhanced System Justification among the Disadvantaged
According to system justification theory, people are motivated to preserve the belief that existing social arrangements are fair, legitimate, and justifiable (Jost & Banaji, 1994). The strongest formExpand
Moral Outrage Mediates the Dampening Effect of System Justification on Support for Redistributive Social Policies
System-justifying ideology appears to undercut the redistribution of social and economic resources by alleviating moral outrage, and the induction of a system-justification mind-set through exposure to “rags-to-riches” narratives decreased moral outrage. Expand
Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness
Modern macroeconomics textbooks rest upon the assumption of a social welfare function defined on inflation, p, and unemployment, U. However, no formal evidence for the existence of such a functionExpand
The disruptive effects of explaining attitudes: The moderating effect of knowledge about the attitude object
Abstract Previous studies have found that asking people to explain the reasons for their attitudes can change these attitudes and lower attitude-behavior consistency. We found that people's knowledgeExpand