Neoliberalism can reduce well-being by promoting a sense of social disconnection, competition, and loneliness

Autor(en): Becker, Julia C.
Hartwich, Lea
Haslam, S. Alexander
Stichwörter: DEPRESSION; HEALTH; IDENTITY; IDEOLOGY; INEQUALITY; LIFE; Psychology; Psychology, Social
Erscheinungsdatum: 2021
Herausgeber: WILEY
Volumen: 60
Ausgabe: 3
Startseite: 947
Seitenende: 965
Neoliberalism has become the dominant ideology in many parts of the world. Yet there is little empirical research on its psychological impact. On the basis of a social identity approach to health, we hypothesize that, by increasing competition and by reducing people's sense of connection to others, neoliberalism can increase loneliness and compromise our well-being. Study 1 (N = 246) shows that the more neoliberal people perceive society to be, the worse their well-being, and that this relationship is mediated via loneliness. In two experiments, we showed that exposure to neoliberal ideology increases loneliness (Study 2, N = 204) and, through this, decreases well-being (Study 3, N = 173). In Study 4 (N = 303), we found that exposure to neoliberal ideology increased loneliness and decreased well-being by reducing people's sense of connection to others and by increasing perceptions of being in competition with others. In Study 4, the effect of neoliberalism on well-being was evident for liberals only. We discuss the potential impact of neoliberalism on different social groups in society.
ISSN: 01446665
DOI: 10.1111/bjso.12438

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