Life satisfaction and the conventionality of political participation : The moderation effect of post-materialist value orientation

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

4 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Journal / PublicationInternational Political Science Review
Publication statusOnline published - 20 May 2021


Does life satisfaction (LS) predict people’s likelihood of participating in politics? Although the relationship between LS and political participation (PP) has been widely debated, its correlation and causality remain inconclusive. We contribute to the literature by exploring the moderation effect of post-materialist value orientation. By conceptualizing the conventionality of PP as a continuous spectrum, we suggest a new typology beyond the dichotomous understanding. Seventh-wave data from the World Values Survey in Hong Kong indicate that individuals who are more dissatisfied with their lives are more likely to engage in radicalized actions such as strikes and boycotts. This negative relationship is particularly strong among people with a post-materialist orientation, yet LS is not related to electoral participation and normalized actions, including peaceful demonstrations commonly regarded as ‘unconventional’ in previous studies. Furthermore, the results of propensity score matching reinforce the causal claim that LS predicts radicalized action negatively.

Research Area(s)

  • Hong Kong, Life satisfaction, political participation, post-materialism, protest, World Values Survey