- Yes we can: belief in progress as compensatory control
- Social Psychological and Personality Science
- Volume | Issue number
- 1 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The present research shows that belief in progress helps to alleviate the aversive experience of low levels of control. When control is low, believing in progress provides people with the promise of future control in a broader sense. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants lacking control disagreed more with an essay on the illusory nature of human progress. Experiment 3 corroborated these findings in a field study comparing airplane passengers with a nonairborne control group. Experiment 4 assessed belief in progress more directly and showed an increased willingness to invest in specific fields of progress-oriented research when personal control was low. Moreover, participants lacking control showed an increased preference for hightech solutions to combat environmental problems and believed more firmly in scientific and moral progress.
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