Perceiving economic inequality in everyday life decreases tolerance to inequality
García Castro, Juan Diego
Rodríguez Bailón, Rosa
Willis, Guillermo B.
Economic inequality is one of the main issues of modern societies, and one of the ways to reduce it is through decreasing inequality tolerance and increasing support for economic redistribution. However, there are no consistent results in previous research about the relationship between perceived economic inequality, tolerance to inequality, and support for redistributive policies. In this paper, we argue that rather than measuring the effects of abstract perceived inequality (e.g., measured at the country level), it is important to consider Perceived Economic Inequality in Everyday Life (PEIEL) and close relationships. In one correlational study (N = 207) we found that a PEIEL scale predicts intolerance toward inequality controlling for the common measures of perceived inequality. Moreover, we developed a novel manipulation which was validated in a pilot study (N = 293), and in four experimental studies (N = 261; N = 373; N = 289, N = 289), we found that PEIEL decreases tolerance to inequality. Furthermore, we found a preliminary indirect effect of PEIEL on attitudes toward redistribution through intolerance to inequality. A mini meta-analysis using political ideology, social class, sex, and age as covariates, corroborated these results. All studies were preregistered. In short, these results highlight the importance of perceived inequality in everyday life as an additional tool when considering the psychosocial effects of economic inequality.
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