Effects of sex, nationality, and political beliefs on allocation preferences

Iain Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study addresses the issue of individual differences in preference for the allocation principles of proportionality, equality, and need. Two hundred and one subjects in the U.S.A. and 182 subjects in Australia provided data indicating their allocation preferences. They also completed measures of the Protestant Ethic (PE) and of their political beliefs (using the Mirels and Garrett PE scale, and scales of liberalism, conservatism, and radicalism). Analyses of variance revealed sex differences in liberalism and in preference for quality, with women being more liberal and more favourable to equality than were men. The U.S. sample was more liberal, more radical. and more favourable to equality (on one of two measures) than was the Australian sample, which in turn was more conservative, scored higher on the PE scale, and favoured proportionality. Using multiple regression analyses, sex, nationality, the various political attitude scales, and the PE scale were wed to predict rule preferences. Of the attitude measures, liberalism and radicalism predicted preference for equality and need, but were unrelated to proportionality. Conservatism was negatively related to preference for equality (on one of two measures). Only PE scores predicted preference for proportionality. The regression results suggest that sex and nationality differences in allocation preferences may be produced by differences in political and social attitudes. The importance of these results. though, is limited by small squared multiple correlations. 1989 Australian Psychological Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-59
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1989
Externally publishedYes


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