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新しい研究によると、左派の人は一般に利他的であり、国際的に寛大である傾向があり、一方、右派の人は自国に対して利他的である傾向がある。 この研究ではまた、国家統治の質が寛大さに影響を及ぼし、質の高い統治が行われている国の個人は政治的志向に基づいて異なる行動を示すことも判明した。


IMTルッカ高等研究大学院、ヴェネツィア・カフォスカリ大学、ミラノ・ビコッカ大学の研究者らによって行われた最近の研究では、政治的指向と他者と分かち合いたいという意欲との関係が調査された。 この調査結果は、世界的に、左寄りの政治的見解を持つ個人は、地元コミュニティ内だけでなく、国際社会全体に対しても、より利他的な行動を示す傾向があることを示しています。 逆に、保守的または右派の政治的見解を持つ人は、特に自国に対して利他的な行動を示す傾向が高くなります。

固定観念のように見えるかもしれないことは、実際には 68 か国にわたる調査を通じて世界的に観察された傾向です。

この研究については、最近、 米国科学アカデミーの議事録 (PNAS)、Veronica Pizziolらは、2020年4月から5月にかけて68か国の46,000人以上の参加者から収集したデータを分析しました。この調査は、社会道徳心理学に関する国際協力によって組織されました。[{” attribute=””>COVID-19 (ICSMP COVID-19), which examines psychological factors underlying the attitudes and behavioral intentions related to COVID-19.

Using the participants’ answers, the study aimed to investigate if and how political ideology, which of course captures one’s beliefs and values about society, is associated with generosity. To measure political ideology, participants were asked to identify their political orientation on a scale from 0 (very left-leaning) to 10 (very right-leaning).

To measure generosity, researchers used participants’ donation decisions in a task with the possibility of donating to a national charity and an international one. The task consisted in answering what percentage of a sum of money people kept for themselves, and how much they gave to a national or international charity working to protect people from COVID-19.

Hence, three different types of generosity were taken into consideration and analyzed: one oriented toward the native country, having its roots in localism, named national generosity; the second, more universalistic, oriented beyond the national boundaries and toward the international community, called international generosity; the third, the sum of the two, identifying generosity in general.

“Analyzing the answers, we found that more left-leaning individuals are more likely to donate in general and also more likely to be generous internationally. More right-leaning people are more likely instead to donate nationally. These findings are very consistent and have been checked to exclude other factors that might have influenced the answers,” explains Veronica Pizziol, Ph.D. student in Economics at the IMT School, and first author of the paper. “For example, since the survey was realized during the COVID-19 pandemic, right-leaning people could have shown to be less generous towards COVID-19 charities just because they were less likely to believe COVID-19 to be a big threat. But this was not the case”.

The global coverage of the dataset allowed the researchers to draw general conclusions about the relationship between political ideology and generosity and to use country-level factors to investigate its underlying mechanisms. “We found that a relevant source of cross-country variation is the quality of governance as measured by the Worldwide Governance Indicator provided by the World Bank. We show that the quality of governance moderates the three correlations between political ideology and the various measures of generosity” says Roberto Di Paolo, Assistant Professor at the IMT School. In other words, the tendency to be generous with national and international communities, both among right- and left-wing people, is somehow related to how good the governance of national institutions is.

In particular, in countries with good quality of institutions, individuals tend to increase self-interest (with the change being “faster” for right-leaning individuals) and decrease national generosity (with the change being “slower” for right-leaning individuals). Instead, right- and left-leaning individuals adopt opposite behaviors toward an international charity when the quality of governance increases: right-leaning individuals tend to donate less while left-leaning individuals tend to donate more.

“These apparently counterintuitive results suggest that, in countries with high quality of governance, left-leaning people may shift towards different values: they can tend to embrace either universalistic or individualist values that are typically brought forward by countries with high quality of governance. Both these values put little emphasis on local boundaries. On the other hand, in countries with high-quality of governance, right-leaning people may react negatively to universalist values through a cultural backlash, and therefore embrace only the individualist values. And this is reflected on the fact that they increase only in their individualism,” explains Valerio Capraro, Associate Professor at the University of Milan Bicocca, and senior author of the paper.

In sum, in an increasingly globalized world, it is important to understand how generosity becomes able to transcend local boundaries. This paper shows that political ideology plays a relevant role.

Reference: “Political ideology and generosity around the globe” by Veronica Pizziol, Xhiselda Demaj, Roberto Di Paolo and Valerio Capraro, 5 April 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2219676120

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