Belief in a zero-sum game as a social axiom: A 37-nation study

Joanna Różycka-Tran , Paweł Boski , Bogdan Wojciszke


This article introduces a novel concept, Belief in a Zero-Sum Game (BZSG), proposed as another belief dimension in the family of social axioms. We conceptualize BZSG as a belief system about the antagonistic nature of social relations—that one person’s gain is possible only at the expense of other persons. It appears on a level of personal convictions and as a cultural worldview ideology. We found that persons or nations who believe in a zero-sum game engage in win-lose social exchanges over limited resources. Psychometric evidence for the universality of the BZSG scale in a large pancultural project of 37 nations is presented, where individual and cultural-level predictors of BZSG were tested, followed by their multilevel analyses. BZSG, which shows a conceptual and empirical affinity with societal cynicism, is moderated by previously described cultural dimensions and by objective socio-economic indices.  Keywords: Belief in a Zero-Sum Game, social axioms, cross-cultural psychology
Author Joanna Różycka-Tran
Joanna Różycka-Tran,,
, Paweł Boski (Wydział Psychologii)
Paweł Boski,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Bogdan Wojciszke (Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie)
Bogdan Wojciszke,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie
Journal seriesJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, ISSN 0022-0221, (A 25 pkt)
Issue year2015
Publication size in sheets1.15
Keywords in EnglishBelief in a Zero-Sum Game, social axioms, cross-cultural psychology
ASJC Classification3314 Anthropology; 3316 Cultural Studies; 3207 Social Psychology
Languageen angielski
Rozycka-Tran-Boski-Wojciszke-2015.pdf of 14-09-2015
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Belief-in-a-zero-sum-game-JCCP2015.pdf of 14-09-2015
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BROWN_IR-ADV5255_16_0106_001-12.pdf 26.89 KB
Score (nominal)30
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2015 = 1.515; WoS Impact Factor: 2015 = 1.795 (2) - 2015=2.239 (5)
Citation count*83 (2021-03-04)
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