Ideology and Societal Values – Reversal Theory Perspective

Author: Michael J. Apter

Abstract: The central theme of this theoretical paper is that although the motivations identified in reversal theory, and the values that relate to them, have been defined, and researched, largely in individual or small group terms, they can also be discerned at other, more general social levels of analysis. This is demonstrated in terms of five levels: philosophies of life, societal values, institutions, ideologies, and political parties. The idea is developed that the values that seem peculiar to each of these levels are in fact anchored in, and gain their moral and political force from, the set of eight individual motivations/values identified in reversal theory. The paper also explores the way in which these fundamental values play themselves out in the political process, using the Republican and Democratic parties in the USA as an example. The surprising conclusion is that these two opposing parties have more in common, psychologically, than might have been suspected.

Link to Article2017-v6-01-Ideology

DOI: 10.12689/jmep.2017.601