Self-Transcendence : A Cross-Cultural Study With Democracy in the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationCross-Cultural Research
Publication statusOnline published - 2 Aug 2023



The COVID-19 pandemic and the steps governments took to combat it tormented societies across the globe. Accordingly, existential positive psychologists have emphasized the importance of self-transcendence in mitigating the distress and agony caused by prolonged and rigorous health measures. In this cross-cultural study, the correlation between self-transcendence, people’s confidence in government, and democracy was examined. Based on the findings of an online survey (n = 36,304) conducted in 16 societies in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the multi-level analysis established that self-transcendence had a negative relationship with people’s confidence in their own government, especially in less democratic societies. Besides expanding the Schwartz theory of basic values and inspiring theoretical developments for new research, this paper recommends that related institutions obtain community consent before pushing out strict health measures. © 2023 SAGE Publications.

Research Area(s)

  • confidence in government, democracy, Schwartz theory of basic values, self-transcendence

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