Cynicism in Love and in Politics

Part of the International and Cultural Psychology book series (ICUP)

Following Leung and Bond, deception and its recognition are the key reasons for the existence of cynical beliefs among actors and observers of social life. While this mechanism is almost inherent in politics and power relations, sociobiology postulates its role also in intimate life, as part of mate selection strategies played by individuals of both sexes.

Our first study relates social axioms to love styles in a Polish-Spanish cross-cultural comparison. Based on Social Axioms Survey (SAS), this work attempted to test some of its methodological variations, such as: generality vs. domain specificity; individual vs. shared beliefs; and evenness vs. bias in gender targeting. As expected, there was a link between social cynicism and pragma (in Hendrick and Hendrick's conceptual scheme of love styles). This effect was moderated by an index of shared beliefs such that social cynicism led to pragmatic views on love, particularly in those participants who maintained that cynical beliefs were widespread in their society at large. Central to our second study is the hypothesis that social cynicism in political life is the consequence of deceptions committed by authorities, i.e., the discrepancy between propaganda and experienced reality. Our research involved the history of Polish-Russian/Soviet relations during the last 50 years, appraised by citizens of both countries. As expected, for periods when the propaganda exulted with most positive terms, the experienced versions of bilateral relations were reaching the lowest ebb. Also, the larger were those gaps, the more were participants filling them with online measures of cynicism. These results were more pronounced among Poles than Russians.


Cultural Distance Experienced Version Shared Belief Bilateral Relation Fate Control 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyPolish Academy of SciencesWarsaw
  2. 2.Warsaw School of Social PsychologyWarsaw

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