Date of Award
Honors College Thesis
Biological Sciences BS
Ian D. Dunkle, Ph.D
Matthew Casey, Ph.D
Lucas A. Keefer, Ph.D.
Philosophy and Religion; Psychology
Many studies have empirically explored the relationship between political ideology and psychological well-being. Less look at political ideologies which fall outside of the categories of liberalism and conservativism, such as the case in question for this study, leftism. In the present paper, I carry out a cross-sectional study of candidate risk factors on well-being associated with espoused leftist ideological views, including locus of control and experiences of workplace alienation. I drew from both psychological theory on political ideology and well-being and elements of Marxist theory to generate predictions and explain the interaction of variables and potential personal costs to leftism. My results suggest that people espousing far-left attitudes were more likely to experience workplace alienation and alienating work factors, more likely to have external locus of control positions, and more likely to have lower satisfaction with life. I also contribute to the literature on how socioeconomic status and social class relate to political ideology and well-being. I found that individuals from lower-class backgrounds were more likely to feel alienated from the workplace, more likely to have external locus of control positions, and more likely to have lower psychological well-being, but were not more or less likely to be leftists. Further analysis estimated whether locus of control and alienation factors served as mediating variables in explaining the relationship between political ideology and well-being and between social class and socioeconomic status and well-being.
Keywords: Political Ideology, Marxism, Alienation, Locus of Control, Well-being, Social Class, Socioeconomic Status
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Luckett, Liam, "Left Out and Left Behind: Exploring the Well-Being Costs of Leftist Ideology" (2022). Honors Theses. 837.