Psychology of Turkish University Students as Electorate: The Mediating Role of Political Trust

Ozlem Dirilen Gumus, Talha Yalcinkaya, Alper Kayaalp


Turkey has been ruled by a secular and democratic government since 1923 under the name of ‘the Republic of Turkey’. In this rarely examined culture, we tested the effects of political trust(PT), social values(SV), system justification(SJ) and social dominance orientation(SDO) on university students’ intention of voting before the June 2015 election. Depending on the theory of planned behavior and the cognitive hierarchy model of human behavior, it is conceptualized that SV, SJ and SDO are placed higher in cognitive structure than PT, therefore PT would mediate the relations between those cognitions and the intention of voting. About 300 university students completed the following questionnaires: PVQ-R, Political Trust, Social Dominance Orientation, and System Justification Scales, in addition to intention of voting, and demographics. Results show that conservation and social dominance orientation was positively related to the intention of voting for MHP and openness to change and system justification was positively related to intention of voting for AKP. When we tested the role of mediation for PT; we have found extensive evidence that, the relationships between SV (i.e. openness to change), SJ, and SDO and intention of voting for AKP and MHP were significantly mediated by PT. Ideological differences between and within left and right wing parties in Turkey were discussed to explain the results.


Political trust; Intention of voting; System justification

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