Stankov, L., The University of Sydney, Australia and Knezevic, G., The University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Ten scales of amoral social attitudes developed by Yugoslavian psychologist and a Value Survey were administered to samples of Australian and Serbian students. Three factors were extracted using exploratory factor analysis: Malicious Amorality (statements endorsing brutality, sadism, resentment, selfishness, poor impulse control), Collectivism/Conservatism, and Tough Individualism. There are no significant differences between the groups on Tough Individualism. However, Serbs scored lower than Australians on both Malicious Amorality and Collectivism/Conservatism factors. Since differences on Malicious Amorality disappear when measures of mild disciplinary problems and personality are partialled out, it is reasonable to assume that the selection process for University entrance might have significantly contributed to the observed difference. In other words, there were fewer students in Serbian sample that had mild brushes with the law. On the other hand, differences between Serbs and Australians on Collectivism/Conservatism increase if we partial out measures of mild disciplinary problems. We suggest that lower endorsement of Collectivistic/Conservative Values among the Serbs may be a consequences of the upheavals their society experienced in the second half of the 20th century. In other words, if society is exposed to suffering the consequence may be an increase in cynicism and denial of the importance of traditional values.