COGNITIVE COMPETENCES, PERCEPTION OF SOCIAL INTERDEPENDENCE AND PRO-SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
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Many studies have shown that level of education is a good predictor not only of life achievements but also life satisfaction, involvement in social activities, preferences for rules of fairness, attitudes toward free market economy. environmental protection and many others. A rather trivial explanation is that it is not education per se but ability to process information and comprehend the complexity of social world being acquired during school training. If it is a matter of mental capabilities, then other, more direct indices of subjective, individual understanding of social aspects of life should account for these effects. In the reported survey study (n=891, a representative sample of adult Poles) a number of answers 'I don't know' and 'hard to say' given by every individual respondent was treated as a measure of level of articulation of social attitudes, supposedly, a level of cognitive competence. The results demonstrate both the effect of level of education and the effect of level of respondent's indifference. High level of education and low level of indifference about social matters are associated with perception of social life in terms of common interests, concern for overusing the commons, pro-environmental attitudes, involvement in social activities in the neighborhood. Therefore, the study provides evidence that cognitive competence is one of the key factors accounting for pro-social attitudes.
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