Social Axioms among Malay, Chinese, and Kadazan Students in Sabah, Malaysia: Differences in Gender and Ethnic Groups

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

Social axioms are generalized beliefs about other people, the social environment, or the spiritual and physical world, and are central to a person ' s belief system. Their function is to enhance the survival and functioning of the person in his/her social and physical environment. This study examined social axioms among Malay, Chinese, and Kadazan psychology students enrolled in the School of Psychology and Social Work at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS). Sabah is a multicultural and multiracial society and the students studying in UMS hold different cultural beliefs and values. The sample comprised of 273 students (77 Malays, 81 Chinese, 77 Kadazan, and 38 others). Each student participated in the research by completing a researcher-designed demographic data sheet, the 82-item Social Axioms Survey (SAS) tapping the five-factor structure of Social Cynicism, Social Complexity, Reward for Application, Fate Control, and Religiosity. Analysis of variance was performed to investigate the differences between gender and between ethnic groups in social axioms. The results of this study indicated significant differences between the genders in Social Cynicism and Fate Control. There were also significant differences between Malay, Chinese, and Kadazan students on the factors of Fate Control, Religiosity, and Social Cynicism. Correlations between the Dimensions of the SAS and between the demographic variables and social axioms were examined. The implications of these findings are discussed.


Life Satisfaction Chinese Student Social Complexity Social Belief Fate Control 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universiti Malaysia Sabah

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