RAPID ADAPTATION TO SOCIAL CHANGE IN CENTRAL EUROPE: CHANGES IN LOCUS OF CONTROL, ATTRIBUTION, SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING, SELF-DIRECTION, AND TRUST
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This paper reviews research examining the impact of political and economic transition in the post-communist Central European countries on social psychological processes. While other aspects of democratization in Central Europe have been well documented, only recently have social psychologists turned their attention to this event. Since the collapse of communism, Central Europeans have a more internal sense of control and make more dispositional attributions for others' behaviour. After initial declines in subjective well-being during the first decade of the post-communist period, Central Europeans now have higher levels of well-being then they did at the beginning of the post-communist period. Central Europeans have also become more self-directed and have higher levels of general trust since the end of communism. Taken together these findings suggest that Central Europeans are unique in how quickly and successfully they have adapted to the rapid and massive institutional, political, economic, and social changes that accompanied democratization.
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