Unhappy lives linked to recent rise of right-wing populism in Europe

Unhappy lives linked to recent rise of right-wing populism in Europe

PsyPost reports:

A recent study published in the American Behavioral Scientist has shed light on the link between life dissatisfaction and the rise of right-wing populist movements in Europe. By analyzing survey data from 14 countries collected between 2012 and 2018, researchers found that individuals who are dissatisfied with their lives are more likely to hold negative views on immigration and distrust political institutions, which in turn increases their likelihood of supporting right-wing populist parties.

The researchers aimed to understand the psychological underpinnings of the growing support for right-wing populist parties across Europe. Previous studies have suggested that economic insecurity and cultural changes contribute to the success of these parties, but the role of personal dissatisfaction with life had not been systematically explored.

The researchers hypothesized that life dissatisfaction might be an important factor linking economic and cultural discontent to support for populist parties. By examining this link, they hoped to uncover a more comprehensive understanding of the motivations behind right-wing populist voting.

The study used data from the European Social Survey, which included responses from over 54,000 individuals across 14 countries: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Only those who reported voting in the last national election were included in the analysis. The researchers focused on responses related to life satisfaction, political trust, attitudes towards immigration, and voting behavior. [Continue reading…]

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