Humanistic and Normativistic worldviews: Distinct and hierarchically structured

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

According to Polarity Theory, human worldviews are structured by a polarity between Humanism, which glorifies humanity, portraying human beings and their experiences as intrinsically valuable, and Normativism, which portrays human beings as able to realize themselves and attain value only in relation to external norms and ideals. Previous research has suggested that humanism and normativism are, contrary to Polarity Theory, virtually uncorrelated. But it has not taken their complex internal structures into account. The current research introduced, and evaluated through confirmatory factor analysis, a hierarchical model of humanism and normativism, differentiating five facets of each construct – view of human nature, interpersonal attitude, attitude to affect, epistemology, and political values – and provided evidence that humanism and normativism are negatively related with regard to the former three but not the latter two. Samples were 531 Swedes completing the Modified Polarity Scale, 491 U.S. participants completing an expanded item set used to develop reliable facet-scales, and 394 Swedes completing a short-version of the newly developed scales. Humanism and normativism scales with proportionate representation of their facets, complemented with facet-scales, are recommended for use in future research.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology

Keywords

  • worldview, polarity theory, Silvan Tomkins, personal ideology, humanism, normativism
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-140
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume64
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes