Psychologists explain lack of support for the status quo in post-Communist societies

A new study co-authored by Dr Aleksandra Cichocka of the School of Psychology and Professor John Jost of New York University has for the first time presented a psychological explanation for the apparent lack of support for the status quo in post-Communist societies.

The study drew on what is known as system justification theory, which seeks to explain how, when and why people do and do not support existing social systems, sometimes to their own detriment. This theory was applied to consider why, in post-Communist societies, support for the system remains at a very low level.

The researchers found that although disenchantment with political systems has been seen as a motivator for changing the status quo, there is a level at which dissatisfaction serves to demotivate individuals’ belief that they can change the system.

The study is presented in a paper, titled Stripped of Illusions? Exploring System Justification Processes in Capitalist and Post-Communist Societies, published in the International Journal of Psychology.

For further details see the full press release.