This article presents a short research report on the relationship between perceived antagonism in social relations measured using the Belief in a Zero-Sum Game (BZSG) scale, life satisfaction, and positive and negative affect. Given that individuals who believe that life is like a zero-sum game are likely to perceive their daily interactions with others as unfair, we expected that individuals with high BZSG experience more negative affect and fewer positive one, resulting in a lower satisfaction with life. In addition, we examined whether country-level BZSG may play a moderating role in these associations. Data were collected from student samples (N = 7146) in 35 countries. Multilevel modelling revealed that perceived social antagonism in social relations is negatively associated with satisfaction with life and that this relationship is mediated by both positive and negative affect at the individual level. The relation of individual BZSG and negative affect on satisfaction with life were weaker in societies with higher country-level BZSG, suggesting that the effects of BZSG may be less detrimental in these countries. These findings extend previous knowledge about predictors of life satisfaction and suggest that social beliefs might also be an important factor that influences subjective well-being. The contribution of the study is that the separate treatment of life satisfaction and positive and negative affect may be helpful in many research situations, particularly from a cross-cultural perspective.
The work of Magdalena Żemojtel-Piotrowska and Jarosław Piotrowski was supported by NCN 2016/21/B/HS6/01069. The work of Evgeny Osin was supported by the Russian Academic Excellence project “5-100”. The work of Truong Thi Khanh Ha was funded by grants 501.01-2016.02 from the Vietnam National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED).
Wrote the paper: Joanna Różycka-Tran, Evgeny N. Osin, Magdalena Żemojtel-Piotrowska. Desing the study: Magdalena Żemojtel-Piotrowska, Jarosław Piotrowski, Joanna Różycka-Tran. Prepared the data: Paweł Jurek. Special thanks to Evgeny N. Osin for multilevel modeling analyses. Visualization: Evgeny N. Osin, Paweł Jurek. Revisions and comments for final version: Byron G. Adams and all authors. Gathered data: all authors.
- Belief in a zero-sum game
- Subjective well-being