COVID-19 Crisis Boosts Progressive Values Amidst Growing Pessimism – International Panel Study
A unique panel survey conducted in 24 countries by Professor Ronald Inglehart, Founder and First President (1981-2013) of the World Values Survey Association and Martijn Lampert, Co-founder and Research Director of research agency Glocalities reveals the dual impact that the COVID-19 crisis has on values, emotions and the economy.
In total 8,761 respondents from 24 countries were interviewed twice. First, just before the pandemic hit most countries early in 2020 and again in November 2020. This is the first study of its kind, measuring trends among the same people at such a large international scale. Four decades of research by Professor Ronald Inglehart show that usually crises make people more authoritarian and xenophobic, but in the unique case of the global COVID-19 pandemic with lockdowns and freedom restrictions the effects are very different.
Impact of the pandemic on values, emotions and economy shows 2 faces. First, the COVID-19 crisis leads to a boost in progressive values and ideals with increasing calls for equality, tolerance, rising community spirit and an increasing focus on emancipation and self determination. These historically remarkable effects of the COVID-19 crisis are a result of the strict lockdowns, social isolation and the unprecedented restrictions in freedom of movement. People re-evaluate their priorities in life. Freedoms and liberties have become scarce and as a result progressive values are on the rise while patriarchy and a focus on law and order have gone down. People internationally are calling for inclusive growth and for reducing the gap between rich and the poor.
Second, levels of pessimism, fear and hostility are rising while positive emotions and hedonism have gone down. The pandemic has come as an emotional shock to many. People feel let down by society with diminishing future prospects. This trend is visible in all generations, and especially among young adults who have become less obedient to authority with increasingly urgent worries about income inequality, unemployment, finances and their futures. Life has gotten worse in many areas, including mental and physical health, joy of living, finances, social life, work life, personal life and trust in humanity. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis people increasingly focus on health, vitality and taking precautions.
The study was conducted in the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK, USA & Vietnam.
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