ERIC Number: ED152613
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Political Reactance and Political Reality: A Theory of Political Alienation.
The research investigated political and psychological reactance among adolescents. Political reactance is interpreted to include feelings of political alienation and distrust. Psychological reactance is defined as behavior by an individual in response to reduction or threatened reduction of freedom. A model was created which expanded existing political reality models by adding a political threat component (degree to which real or perceived threat to one political freedom constitutes a threat to other political freedoms). It was hypothesized that (1) feelings of psychological reactance would correlate positively with feelings of political alienation and that (2) critical perceptions of political reality would correlate positively with feelings of alienation from the sociopolitical system. Survey data were collected from a random sample of 460 high school students in Evansville, Indiana, in May, 1975. Test instruments were devised to operationalize the political threat concept, to measure perceptions of political reality, and to assess feelings of political alienation. Findings, which confirmed the hypotheses, showed that perceptions of threat from the sociopolitical system were found to generate feelings of political alienation. The conclusion is that psychological reactance theory is one way of accounting for feelings of political alienation among adolescents. (Author/DB)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Behavior, Black Attitudes, Data Analysis, High School Students, Literature Reviews, Majority Attitudes, Negative Attitudes, Political Attitudes, Psychological Patterns, Psychological Studies, Racial Factors, Secondary Education, Social Attitudes, Social Indicators, Social Influences, Social Science Research, Student Alienation, Student Attitudes, Surveys, Tables (Data), Theories
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Yale Univ., New Haven, CT.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Chicago, Illinois, September 5-9, 1977)