Differing Conceptions of the Causes of the Economic Crisis: Effects of Culture, Economic Training, and Personal Impact
31 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2015
Date Written: October 8, 2015
We report findings from a survey regarding the lay perception of the causes of the worldwide economic and financial crisis. Respondents (N = 2245) from a variety of countries were included: China (Hong Kong), Turkey, Russia, Israel, Germany, USA, and France. We have previously documented a range of factors that affects lay understanding of the crisis The present study expanded the database and focuses on the combination of factors that jointly predict whether the respondents view the crisis as a complex impersonal system that malfunctioned, or hold a moral/intentional view about its origins. We show that respondents from Western World countries, who were unaffected by the crisis and have economic training, interpret the crisis differently from all other respondents (i.e., those living in Turkey, Russia, or Hong Kong, and those who were personally affected by the crisis or without economic training). These differences have important implications on how policies are perceived and evaluated by the public, and should inform how they are presented to the public.
Keywords: Lay understanding, financial crisis, social representations, Lay economic cognition, culture, classification tree analysis.
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