Worldviews about change: Their structure and their implications for understanding responses to sustainability, technology, and political change

Paul G. Bain, Renata Bongiorno, Kellie Tinson, Alanna Heanue, Ángel Gómez, Yanjun Guan, Nadezhda Lebedeva, Emiko Kashima, Roberto González, Sylvia Xiaohua Chen, Sheyla Blumen, Yoshihisa Kashima

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

People hold different perspectives about how they think the world is changing or should change. We examined five of these “worldviews” about change: Progress, Golden Age, Endless Cycle, Maintenance, and Balance. In Studies 1–4 (total N = 2733) we established reliable measures of each change worldview, and showed how these help explain when people will support or oppose social change in contexts spanning sustainability, technological innovations, and political elections. In mapping out these relationships we identify how the importance of different change worldviews varies across contexts, with Balance most critical for understanding support for sustainability, Progress/Golden Age important for understanding responses to innovations, and Golden Age uniquely important for preferring Trump/Republicans in the 2016 US election. These relationships were independent of prominent individual differences (e.g., values, political orientation for elections) or context-specific factors (e.g., self-reported innovativeness for responses to innovations). Study 5 (N = 2140) examined generalizability in 10 countries/regions spanning five continents, establishing that these worldviews exhibited metric invariance, but with country/region differences in how change worldviews were related to support for sustainability. These findings show that change worldviews can act as a general “lens” people use to help determine whether to support or oppose social change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-535
Number of pages32
JournalAsian Journal of Social Psychology
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • innovation
  • politics
  • social change
  • sustainability
  • worldviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Social Sciences

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