STUDY: ‘Woke’ People More Likely To Be Miserable, Suffer From Mental Health Problems

Photo of author
Written By Maya Cantina

Generated by AI

A study out of Finland has found that people who believe in “woke” ideas of social justice are more likely to be anxious, miserable, and depressed.

The study, entitled “Construction and validation of a scale for assessing critical social justice attitudes,” was carried out by Oskari Lahtinen, a senior researcher at the INVEST Research Flagship Centre at the University of Turku. It sought to establish the prevalence of the “woke” worldview and the kinds of people who hold it.

PsyPost, a publication that focuses on psychological developments, reported on its findings:

An intriguing aspect of the study was its exploration of the relationship between critical social justice and mental well-being. Lahtinen found a correlation between higher agreement with critical social justice attitudes and increased reports of anxiety and depression. Agreement with the statement “If white people have on average a higher income than black people, it is because of racism” exhibited the largest positive correlation with anxiety and depression, and the largest negative correlation with happiness.

However, these associations were more strongly correlated with participants’ political orientation than with critical social justice attitudes per se. Specifically, being on the political left was more predictive of lower mental well-being than high critical social justice scores alone. This suggests that the link between critical social justice attitudes and mental health is complex and may be mediated by broader political and ideological beliefs.

Lahtinen, meanwhile, explained his methodology and the reason why he undertook the research:

The arrival of a critical social justice (often called ‘woke’) discourse sparked much debate in Finnish media in the last couple of years.”

This debate was largely data-free and it could thus be considered a worthwhile question to study how prevalent these attitudes are. No reliable and valid instrument existed prior to the study to assess the extent and prevalence of these attitudes in different populations, so I set out to develop one.

The studies were quite robust with a sample size above 5,000 and good psychometric properties. However, the scale would need to be validated in North American samples in order to know how these attitudes manifest there. I encourage colleagues in the United States to study the prevalence of these attitudes in the country where they originate from.”

The study adds to the growing body of evidence that left-wing progressives live unhappier lives. A 2021 study from the University of Chicago found that just one in six Democratic voters described themselves as “very happy,” while one in three Republicans felt the same way.

Source

Leave a Comment

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .