The Mileage from Social Axioms: Learning from the Past and Looking Forward

Part of the International and Cultural Psychology book series (ICUP)

Social axioms are proposed as fundamental psychological constructs tapping a person's beliefs about the social world and how it works, positioned centrally in the nomological network of broad psychological constructs and capable of predicting crucial psychological outcomes. This ambitious proposal has been put to empirical test across psychological domains around the world. In this chapter, we review all published empirical investigations on social axioms, demarcating them from other broad psychological constructs (e.g., personality and values) as well as examining if and how they could serve the four specific functions originally proposed, viz., “facilitate the attainment of important goals (instrumental), help people protect their self-worth (ego-defensive), serve as a manifestation of people's values (value-expressive), and help people understand the world (knowledge)” (Leung et al., 2002, p. 288). We envisage social axioms as fundamental and useful psychological constructs that will continue to gain importance in social sciences research in the decades to come, and we propose a number of fruitful future research directions to promote this line of research.


Life Satisfaction Psychological Outcome Implicit Theory Psychological Construct Epistemic Belief 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Chinese University of Hong KongChina

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