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Working paper

Political Participation and Basic Values in Europe: Replication and Extension of Vecchione et al. (2015)

SocArXiv. socarxiv. OSF, 2020. No. av3mx.
Vecchione et al. (2015) demonstrated effects of four higher-order values on political participation across 20 European countries. In their Study 1, they found that political participation was related positively to self-transcendence and openness to change values while negatively to conservation and ambiguously to self-enhancement values. Moreover, these effects were stronger in more democratic countries. The current study attempted a replication of the Vecchione et al.’s Study 1 using more rigorous modeling approach. The multilevel structural equation models with latent variables for both participation and basic values replicated the main effects of self-transcendence and conservation values but demonstrated a negative effect of openness values (vs positive in the original study), a positive effect of self-enhancement values (vs ambiguous or insignificant in the original study), and counter-intuitive cross-level interactions pointing to a lower effects of values in more democratic countries (vs the opposite in the original study). Overall model fit and explanatory power was much larger in the models with less assumptions. These discrepancies resulted mostly due to the original study’s implicit assumption that basic values’ measurement errors were zero. The new results have an important substantive contribution as they indicate a counter-intuitive similarity of effects of the supposedly opposite values. I suggest that self-transcendence – self-enhancement is a politically activating value dimension, whereas openness to change – conservation is a dimension that discourages political participation regardless of a preferred extreme.