The antecedents of collective action have received considerable attention in psychology, political science, and sociology. However, few studies have addressed the extent to which individual differences in psychological needs, motives, and traits predict collective action tendencies. In the present study, we focus on an especially important individual difference: authoritarianism. We examined three key hypotheses: (1) that authoritarianism would be associated with lower willingness to engage in collective action (net of other factors known to predict protest), (2) that the negative relationship between authoritarianism and collective action would be stronger among the politically engaged; and (3) that the negative relationship between authoritarianism and collective action would be weaker among those who lacked confidence in major social institutions. Using data from three independent waves of the World Values Survey, we find cross-national evidence supporting all three hypotheses.
- Collective action
- Institutional confidence