The Importance of Material Status for Electoral Chances and Perception of Politician: Delegitimization of Wealth as Post-transition Specificity?


Warsaw Univesity of Social Sciences and Humanities, Chodakowska 19/31, Warszawa, Poland

University of Gdansk, Jana Bażyńskiego 1A, Poland

University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poznan Faculty, Poland




 In presented research the impact of a politician’s economic status on his/her assessment and electoral chances was tested. In study 1 (N= 90) a politician with a high status was as-sessed as less moral and more competent than a low-status politician. In study 2 (N = 120)  participants from Ireland and Poland were compared. Irish participants assessed a low- -status politician as more moral and competent than the high-status one, whereas Polish participants assessed a high-status politician as more competent than the low-status one. Polish subjects generally assessed politicians’ morality lower than the Irish. The results sug-gest higher legitimization of wealth among Polish participants than the Irish, contrary to predictions. These results are discussed in reference to the system justification theory (Jost, Banaji, & Nosek, 2004) and legitimating myths (Jost, & Kay, 2003).


Key words:

  legitimating myths, delegitimization of wealth, cross-cultural research


  DOI: 10.15503/jecs20132-361-374


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