We conducted two surveys to test different predictions made by French and Raven (1959) and Hollander and Julian (1978) about the effect of political legitimacy on political evaluations. Results of both surveys supported the distinction between two sources of legitimacy, personal and institutional, suggested by these theories of legitimacy. In addition, the results suggested that each source had a different effect on policy satisfaction, evaluations of political officials, and support for the system of government. The surveys suggested strongly that personal legitimacy resulted in greater performance-based evaluations of specific government policies and (to a lesser extent) government officials, whereas institutional legitimacy led to a lessened tendency to translate performance-based grievances into political distrust.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science