The Association between Perceived Injustice and Political Trust: Testing a Dual-Pathway Model through Anger and Patriotism across Four Countries

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While past research has found an association between perceived political injustice and diminished trust in institutions, the pathways connecting these constructs remain underexplored. In this study, we proposed a sequential indirect-effect model, from perceived injustice to feelings of disrespect and ultimately lower trust, via the dual pathways of anger against institutions and constructive patriotism. We tested our model using samples from four countries, namely South Korea, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States (NTotal = 2502). Results revealed a simple indirect effect of injustice via perceived personal respect. Additionally, two sequential indirect pathways emerged via anger and constructive patriotism. Specifically, individuals with higher levels of perceived personal injustice were less likely to trust institutions through decreased perceived personal respect. Moreover, perceived personal respect was associated with reduced trust via increased anger and decreased constructive patriotism. While the results were largely consistent across countries, the significance and relative strength of some of the paths exhibited variability. The findings offer insights into the psychological underpinnings of political trust across contexts. Limitations, implications of the results, and avenues for future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Psychology
Early online date28 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 May 2024

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