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Social axioms among Romanians: Structure and demographic differences

Author(s): Guan, Yanjun | Bond, Michael Harris | Dinca, Margareta | Iliescu, Dragos

Journal: Romanian Journal of Applied Psychology
ISSN 1454-8062

Volume: 12;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 48;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: social axioms | exploratory factor analysis | scale adaptation

Social axioms are beliefs about the material, social and spiritual world, assessing what the person regards as true. Following a functionalist orientation, we propose that social axioms serve as a reflection of social reality and provide guidance for living to people in different demographic groups. This study investigated the dimensionality of a measure of such beliefs, the Social Axioms Survey (SAS), and demographic differences in the resulting factor scores for groups of Romanians. Results of exploratory factor analyses revealed a new five-factor structure, with four factors remarkably similar to those derived from a pan-cultural solution of 40 cultural groups (Leung & Bond, 2004). A distinctive factor named “Interpersonal Relations” replaced the “Social Complexity” factor found in previous research, and represented beliefs about the impact of interpersonal relations on life events and how to maintain good relations with others. Canonical correlation revealed that people of older age, lower education, and lower income endorsed stronger beliefs in “Social Cynicism” and “Religiosity”. After controlling for the effects of age, education, and income, females reported stronger endorsement of the “Religiosity”, “Interpersonal Relations”, and “Fate Control” dimensions than males; widowed participants scored significantly higher than married, divorced and unmarried groups on both “Religiosity” and “Fate Control”. By reflecting on the characteristics of Romanian society, we discussed these findings in terms of the life experience and social status of different social groups. Based on this analysis, questions were proposed for future research.
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