Are attitudes toward peace and war the two sides of the same coin? Evidence to the contrary from a French validation of the Attitudes Toward Peace and War Scale

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Abstract

Bizumic et al. (2013) have recently shown that attitudes towards peace and war reflect two distinct constructs rather than two poles of a single dimension. We present an attempt at validating the French version of their 16-item Attitudes toward Peace and War Scale (APWS) on five distinct (mainly Belgian) French-speaking samples (total N = 808). Confirmatory factor and criterion validity analyses confirmed that attitudes toward peace and war, although negatively related, are distinct in terms of their antecedents and consequences. On the one hand, antecedents of attitudes toward peace included egalitarian ideological beliefs and empathic concern for others, and consequences included intentions to engage in pro-peace behaviors. On the other hand, antecedents of attitudes toward war included national identification and authoritarian ideological beliefs, and consequences included intentions to engage in pro-war behaviors. Furthermore, both attitudes toward peace and war were, respectively, negatively and positively related to (a right-wing) political orientation. Unexpectedly however, attitudes toward war were positively related to nonegalitarian ideological beliefs and were not related to personal distress. Scores on the translated scale were unrelated to socially desirable responding. In terms of known-groups validity, men had, respectively, more and less positive attitudes toward war and peace than women. Finally, based on exploratory factor analyses, the inclusion of some items for the factorial structure of the measure is questioned and a shortened form of the measure is validated. Overall, these findings are in line with Bizumic et al. and suggest that attitudes toward peace and war also reflect two distinct constructs in a French-speaking population.

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Van Der Linden, N., Leys, C., Klein, O., & Bouchat, P. (2017). Are attitudes toward peace and war the two sides of the same coin? Evidence to the contrary from a French validation of the Attitudes Toward Peace and War Scale. PLoS ONE, 12(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184001

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