Social Indicators Research

, Volume 132, Issue 2, pp 907–923 | Cite as

Life Satisfaction as a Buffer of the Relationship Between Corruption Perception and Political Participation

  • Wen-wen Zheng
  • Li LiuEmail author
  • Zhen-wei Huang
  • Xu-yun Tan


The present article aimed at exploring the effect of corruption perception on political participation and the moderating role of life satisfaction on this relationship. To accomplish these objectives, we collected both survey and experimental data. In Study 1, corruption perception, life satisfaction, and political participation were all measured using self-report scales. The results indicated that corruption perception was negatively associated with political participation, and that life satisfaction moderated the relationship between corruption perception and political participation. In Study 2, corruption perception was manipulated by placing respondents in either a high-corruption or a low-corruption condition with subliminal priming. Compared with the high-corruption condition, the respondents primed by the low-corruption condition reported greater political participation. Furthermore, corruption perception hampered political participation only when life satisfaction was low. The results of the two studies confirmed that corruption perception attenuated political participation and that life satisfaction served as an appraisal buffer to alleviate this effect. The implications of the findings are discussed.


Corruption perception Political participation Life satisfaction Moderation 



The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their insightful and constructive comments. The authors gradually acknowledge financial support provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31571145), Beijing Social Science Foundation (13ZHB027), and the Program of the Co-Construction with Beijing Municipal Commission of Education of China.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wen-wen Zheng
    • 1
  • Li Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhen-wei Huang
    • 1
  • Xu-yun Tan
    • 1
  1. 1.Beijing Key Lab of Applied Experimental Psychology, School of PsychologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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