Abstract

This paper examines a cognitive bias whereby respondents in postcommunist Bulgaria systematically decrease their self estimates on material welfare in contrast to the well-established status-enhancement bias. The analysis shows that the main reason for the occurrence of status-devaluation is the experience of relative deprivation in postcommunism, reflected in unfulfilled expectations and the perception of status loss relative to socialism. The bias is reinforced by a process of network closure under conditions of high uncertainty and accelerated social change. More homogeneous personal networks provide reference points, which make high-status actors more likely to see themselves as low-status.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-7605
Print ISSN
0037-7732
Pages
pp. 1497-1519
Launched on MUSE
2006-04-24
Open Access
No
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