Effects of Health and Security Based Threats on the Trust in Government in Turkey, and the Mediator Role of Collective Angst

2021-8-9
Sahin, Melih Can
Previous research found that people's trust in government (particularly right-wing and populist governments) increases in the existence of a societal threat or crisis. However, most of this research is conducted in individualistic cultures like the USA. In addition, most of the previous research focused on threats originating from a particular out-group (such as ISIS threat to the US). Experimental research on how societal threats not originating from a particular group against an in-group (such as COVID-19) affect people's political attitude is acking. Also, current literature does not answer whether collective angst (concern for in-group's future vitality) can explain the relationship between health-related threats and trust in the government. Seven hundred twenty-two white-collar workers were enrolled in the online experimental study. The results yielded that participants exposed to health-based and security-based threat situations did not differ significantly from the control group in any of the research variables. Regression analyses showed that, only in the security group, the perceived threat level predicted collective angst, and in turn, trust in government. However, predictor variables accounted for the variance in outcome variables only fractionally; correlations between the variables were also weak. The implications of the results are discussed mainly based on the deficiencies in the research design, cultural and educational background of the study sample, and past and current political atmosphere in Turkey.

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Citation Formats
M. C. Sahin, “Effects of Health and Security Based Threats on the Trust in Government in Turkey, and the Mediator Role of Collective Angst,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.