Love versus loving criticism: Disentangling conventional and constructive patriotism

Maciej Sekerdej, Sonia Roccas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We seek in three studies to better understand constructive patriotism by identifying perceptual and motivational factors that predict it above and beyond conventional patriotism and by examining one of its distinctive consequences (total n = 573). Study 1 (Polish students) shows that constructive patriotism is predicted by the perceived discrepancy between actual and ideal representations of the nation. Study 2 (Polish and Israeli students), which draws on Schwartz's theory of values, shows that constructive patriotism is negatively associated with the pursuit of self-interests. In Study 3 (Israeli adults), we broadened our investigation of constructive patriotism and conventional patriotism by examining the willingness to write examples of what constitutes a contribution to the nation, and analysed the content of these written statements. Individuals who scored higher on constructive patriotism wrote more examples, as well as more distinctive examples, of contributions to the nation. These findings provide the first empirical evidence for predictors and potential consequences of constructive patriotism that go beyond the love of one's nation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-521
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The British Psychological Society.


  • constructive patriotism
  • conventional patriotism
  • relational models
  • values


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