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CURRENT RESEARCH IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY


Volume 7, Number 7
Submitted: January 8, 2002
Resubmitted: March 8, 2002
Accepted: March 10, 2002
Publication date: March 26, 2002

ATTRIBUTIONS FOR THE CAUSES OF PEACE AND LOCUS OF CONTROL: THEIR RELATION IN A COUNTRY WHERE THERE IS CONFLICT

Ramzi Nasser
Bishops University—Canada

Kamal Abouchedid
Notre Dame University—Lebanon

ABSTRACT

This study employs Rotter's (1966) Internal-External (I-E) Locus of Control Scale to examine the relationship between Lebanese college students' orientation towards an internal or external locus of control and their attributions for the causality of peace with Israel along the dimensions of fatalism, individualism, and structuralism. The students proved to be more individualist than structuralist or fatalist. As well, both internals and externals were more individualist than structuralist. Class differences appeared in the factorial design of religion by class. This study indicates that a more cautious approach must be adopted in studying the impact of socioeconomic factors on group attitudes to peace with Israel. For true peace to take hold, it is essential that peace educators begin a process of re-education centering on the individual's attributions and locus of control so that peace will resonate between people, not just governments.

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INTRODUCTION

During the 1990s, interest in peace education in Lebanon grew out of the need to cement national integration after a protracted civil war lasting more than 14 years. Peace education has come to integrate lessons on conflict resolution, democracy, and human rights into many civics textbooks in the new national curriculum. Non-governmental organizations and private voluntary organizations have engaged in concomitant efforts at peace making in Lebanon by setting up workshops and producing and disseminating materials dealing with conflict resolution, peace, human rights, and democracy.

Although these impetuses may increase popular support for peace-making efforts (Zuzovsky & Ruth 1999), no workshops or written materials on peace in Lebanon have been based on research findings that explain the attribution of causality for peace with Israel. Further, peace education in Lebanon has been exclusively focused on domestic issues related to national reconciliation and coexistence among the Lebanese, while it has ignored cross-national matters vital to the economic, political, and cultural developments of the Middle East, especially the issue of peace with Israel.

Following the official inception of the Arab-Israeli peace process in Madrid in 1990, several studies have assessed opposition to and acceptance of peace with Israel among segments of Arab populations (e.g., Khashan 1995; 1995; Mi'ari 1999). Studies have argued that Arab governments usually treat their citizens as passive subjects whose acquiescence in the process and outcome of peace negotiations is taken for granted.

While these studies attribute the wide gap between official and popular views of the peace process to political institutions in Arab countries, they have failed to recognize the impact generated by individuals' attribution style in contributing to this gap and indeed perpetuating it. In addition, the majority of peace studies conducted to date (e.g., Pollock 1993) have focused on studying group sociodemographic differences (e.g., religion, class, education, political party affiliation, and income) as determinants of attitudes to peace, while they neglect individual beliefs as such determinants.

Attitude, whether favorable or unfavorable, is a relatively enduring cognition by which persons evaluate others or events. Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) distinguish between attitudes and beliefs. Attitudes are built upon beliefs. Whereas attitudes refer to a person's favorable or unfavorable feelings toward an object, beliefs link the object to specific attributes. Zuzovsky and Ruth (1999) have argued that the probability that the object is associated with the attribute determines the strength of the belief: the more probable the association between the object and the attribute, the stronger the belief. The strength of people's beliefs might serve as the informational base that determines their attitudes to specific events.

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Rotter (1966) explained people's beliefs in terms of external and internal locus of control. Studies have shown that individuals with an internal locus of control ("internals") display higher levels of goal setting and participation in decision-making processes than individuals with an external locus of control ("externals") (Kishor 1983;; Rose, et. al. 1996). Internals are people who have a relative degree of control over what happens to them (Levenson 1973), while externals are overpowered by social cues and may perceive an event, whether positive or negative, as externally caused and due to chance or fate. In situations where internals perceive themselves as active participants and failure is an outcome, attribution is made to external causes.

A number of studies have also conceptualized attitudes regarding reasons for societal events in a framework of attribution theory (as formulated by Heider 1958). In studies of causal attributions, people attribute behavior in a particular situation either to internal causes, which stem from personal characteristics (individualist), or to external ones, which fall into two patterns: fatalist attributions cite social problems or outside circumstances as the causes of misfortune, while structuralist ones blame societal problems on government institutions (Bernstein et al 1991).

If we carry these themes into the context of peace, individuals' external or internal locus of control cognition may help us predict their attributions for the causality of peace with Israel.

The present study examines Lebanese college students' locus of control and their attributions for the causality of peace with Israel along individualist, fatalist, and structuralist dimensions. College students in Lebanon are readily accessible and are the only group that lends itself to interviewing at the national level. In addition, Lebanese college students have a higher degree of political efficacy than average citizens (Khashan 1992) and they stand better chances of establishing positive interpersonal relationships that cut across specific group differences such as religion, gender, and economic status (Abouchedid 1997). More important, college students’ political attitudes are articulated, and their cultural characteristics displayed, on university campuses.

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This study integrates class, gender, and religion into an examination of Lebanese youth’s attributions for the causes of peace as a measure of ideological variation. Lebanon is a multi-religious society with national class differences that has sustained several power struggles pitting one religious group against another over the last century. For example, prior to the Lebanese civil, Shiites were a socially and economically deprived group and Christians predominantly ruled the country through socioeconomic and political coercion (Hudson 1968; Theroux 1987). More recently, the Christian power base has been dissolved through a power-sharing formula, known as the Taef accord, that realigned Christian Arabs within the fold of the greater Muslim Arab region (Khashan 1992). However, class differences remain effectively the same wherever Christians remain to hold a substantial power base. For instance, the Maronite Christian church remains the most affluent religious establishment in Lebanon (Khashan 1992).

Self-identified class affiliations by different religious groups reinforce the view that there still exists a national class system. Following this logic, religious differences should mirror class differences (Hunt 1996), and poorer Muslims should support a structuralist explanation for negative events while more affluent Christians should have more individualist attributions for positive events such as peace.

As well, in light of the patriarchal nature of Middle Eastern society, numerous studies have shown distinctive attitudes as between females and males (Abouchedid & Nasser, 2000). Women in the Arab world are kept from partaking in certain professions, including politics. In this regard, Shawool (1998) presented some interesting data on Lebanese women's representation in political parties, labor unions, student unions, religious groups, cultural clubs, social committees for activities in districts and villages and so on. Men's membership in political parties was higher than women’s (male 24.1% and females 7.7%). In other spheres too, gender roles and decision-making bodies are archaic and neopatriarchal. Worse, the institutionalization of these patterns in parts of the Arab world makes it hard for women to progress and fulfill their aspirations. Females are thus hypothesized to be passive, with an external locus of control, and are expected to make external, fatalist and structuralist, attributions for peace.

This study suggests that those who have an internal locus of control will attribute the causality for peace to individuals' effort and active engagement in the making of peace. Externals may show their disengagement from the peace-making process by attributing causality to external factors such as fate or the role of government and its institutions. In addition, in line with the previous literature on peace (Khashan 1995), this study examines whether students' attributions are influenced by sociodemographic characteristics.

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Working with the above considerations, the present study explores the following hypotheses:

1. Male Christian students make more individualist attributions than their Muslim counterparts.

2. Lower-class female Muslim students make more structuralist or fatalist attributions than individualist ones.

3. Females, with external locus of control, give the causes of peace structuralist or fatalist attributions more often than males.

4. Males, with internal locus of control, give the causes of peace to individualist attributions more than females.

5. Internals attribute the causes of peace to individualist factors more than to external, structuralist and fatalist, ones.

6. Externals attribute the causes of peace to structuralist or fatalist factors more than to individualist ones.

METHOD

Sample
A sample of 250 undergraduate students drawn from two private university campuses situated in Beirut and North Lebanon participated in the study. During examination periods, students were asked to take ten minutes to fill out a questionnaire dealing with internal versus external locus of control and to rate the attributes of peace with Israel along fatalist, individualist, and structuralist dimensions. Students were informed that complete confidentiality would be maintained and were asked to work individually. The response rate for the questionnaire reached 93%.

The sample comprised 135 male students and 115 female students. There were 141 Maronites, 23 Greek Catholics, 55 Greek Orthodox, 1 Protestant, 16 Sunnites, 3 Shiites, and 1 Druze. Seven students rated themselves as coming from affluent families, 55 rated themselves in the upper-middle class category, 25 identified themselves with the lower-middle class, and 1 with the poor; the rest reported themselves as middle class.

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Because very few individuals rated themselves as highly affluent ( n = 7) and poor (n = 1), the class variable was re-coded into 3 categories: upper class, middle class, and lower class. In order to determine the test-retest reliability of the scales used by the present study, a total of 110 students were given the Rotter Scale again two weeks later. Internal consistency was poor: Cronbach’s alpha measures of internal consistency for females was = -0.40 and for males = 0.01. At a conceptual level, Cronbach’s alpha is a random selection of paired samples of items that are correlated and their average reported as alpha. The Rotter Scale is a forced choice questionnaire (see Appendix: underlined responses indicate an external locus of control), meaning that for each item each student selected one of two choices, which leaves little room for variance. Rotter (1966) presents higher internal consistency results. In our data, female students had better consistency in the measure of locus of control than males did. Male students’ data on the Rotter Scale was relatively unstable. Evidence from Rotter (1966) and other studies suggests that test and post-test are better indicators of reliability (for females r = 0.75, for males r = 0.64). Using Rotter's 23-item list for locus of control, we obtained good test-retest consistencies that gave us a moderate confidence in the Rotter Scale without the filler items.

Questionnaire
The authors constructed a three-part questionnaire. Part 1 sought to obtain data about students’ sociodemographic background. We used the standard demographic variables of religion, class, and gender as determinants for explaining students' attitudes to peace. Part 2 consisted of 23 items from the Rotter Scale (1966), designed to assess students’ internal or external locus of control.1 The third part of the questionnaire requested students to answer 15 items on peace with Israel along fatalist (luck, misfortune, God), individualist (peace is attributed to the individual's effort), and structuralist (the role of economic, educational, political, or religious systems in facilitating or obstructing the peace process) dimensions, on a Likert scale i.e., "1 = strongly agree", "2 = agree", "3 = do not know", "4 = disagree", and "5 = strongly disagree". The dimensions of peace were adapted from attribution-style theory (Heider 1958).

To determine both the reliability and validity of the peace-with-Israel attitude scale, a principal component analysis with a varimax rotation was computed using all 15 items on the scale devised. Five factors emerged with an eigen-value greater than one. Items which loaded greater than 0.4 constituted a factor (Stevens 1986). The first factor showed high loadings on items 11-15, conceptualized as structuralist, and explained 13.9% of the variance by the factor (alpha coefficient = 0.67). The second factor had 13.2% of the variance and had all the individualist items loading with values greater than 0.4 (alpha coefficient = 0.65) on items 6-10. The third and fourth factors (items 1-5) explained 8.5% of the variance and had 3 items of the fatalist dimension loading on the third, while the other two loaded highly on the fourth (alpha coefficient = 0.50). The fifth factor had heterogeneous loading and was removed as a constituent factor of the dimensions conceptualized.

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RESULTS

A mean rating was obtained for each attribution for peace: the lower the mean score, the higher the agreement with the attribution. This was performed by taking the item ratings for each dimension and dividing by the number of items for that dimension. A count was determined for internal and external locus of control, based on individual selection of either item. Distribution of the external and internal loci of control showed evidence of similarity. A mean count for the 23 items for the total score for the internal locus of control was 11.47, with a standard deviation of 3.33. The mean for the external locus of control was 11.05, with a standard deviation of 3.37. A t-test comparing mean differences indicated no significant differences (t = 1.05, df = 250, p > 0.05) between those mean counts for internal and external personality style identified by the Rotter Scale and could not adequately define the sample as external or internal. This confirms the low reliability of locus of control. A binary approach had been considered, but there was little difference between the external and internal locus of control. Our scheme was to treat the internals as well as the externals based on a conservative measure of response counts. We defined individuals and classified two groups according to whether they had 15 or more counts of either external or internal locus of control choices. This came to 10 percent of internals and externals in the sample.

A factorial analysis of variance model (ANOVA) was employed to determine main effects. The ANOVA model uses a factorial design to measure differences between factors as well as within factors.

The first ANOVA results (see Table 1) are for main effects and interactive effects of religion (Christian, Muslim) and gender (female, male).

Table 1. F-Ratios for 2x2 ANOVA Gender by Religion Design

 

Gender

Religion

Gender X Religion

Fatalistic 0.001 0.47 0.37
Individualistic 0.01 0.07 0.05
Structuralist 0.66 0.20 0.42

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It is interesting to note that religion did not predict student ratings on the peace scale on the three dimensions of individualism, fatalism, and structuralism. Both males and females showed the same attitudes towards the causes of peace. No significant interaction effects were found. We further calculated a one-way ANOVA to determine whether there were significant differences among the five dominant religious affiliations represented in our sample (Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholics, Maronites, Shiites, and Sunnites) on the fatalist -- F(4, 228) = 0.244, p > 0.05 --, individualist F(4, 225) = 1.87, p > 0.05 --, and structuralist -- F(4, 220) = 0.56, p > 0.05 -- dimensions of the peace-with-Israel attitude scale. The results indicated that religion could not be viewed as a causal factor in explaining students' attributions for causality on the peace-with-Israel scale and did not support the first hypothesis.

Table 2. F-Ratios for 2x2 ANOVA Religion by Class Design

  Religion Class Religion X Class
Fatalistic 0.40 0.62 1.46
Individualistic 0.08 2.68 1.80
Structuralist 0.00 3.74* 1.42

* p < .05

To study the second hypothesis we used a 2 x 3 ANOVA of religion (Christian, Muslim) versus class (high, middle, low). Main significant effects were found for class (see Table 2). Post-hoc Scheffe's test showed that high-class students were more individualist than middle class ones, with a Scheffe mean difference of 0.25 at near significance of p = 0.11. The data did not support the second hypothesis; rather, it suggested its opposite.

To test for the third hypothesis, we devised a separate analysis for internals and externals. Because of the poor internal consistency of the data, we were reluctant to dichotomize the external and internal factors, which could have had a random effect in a Factorial ANOVA design. Because male students showed far more inconsistent data than their female counterparts, we grouped the analysis according to gender and controlling locus of control on each of the dimensions of peace by the algorithm described above. Table 3 presents the t-ratios. No significant differences were found as between male and female students. Both females and males showed higher individualist attributions, which refutes hypotheses 3 and 4.

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Table 3. t-Ratios Between Females and Males on External and Internal Locus of Control Analyzed Separately

 

External

  Male Female T-Test
  Mean SD N Mean SD N  
Fatalistic 3.50 0.60 19 3.30 0.68 21 1.53 (df=38)
Individualistic 2.67 0.78 18 2.57 0.74 22 0.39 (df=38)
Structuralist 3.27 0.93 19 3.20 0.84 22 0.27 (df=39)
 

Internal

  Male Female T-Test
  Mean SD N Mean SD N  
Fatalistic 3.89 0.65 22 3.59 0.68 25 1.53 (df=45)
Individualistic 2.21 0.76 22 2.39 0.60 25 -0.87 (df=45)
Structuralist 3.24 0.98 20 2.90 0.91 24 1.19 (df=42)

Table 4 presents mean differences in attributions based on external and internal locus of control. Surprisingly, internals and externals had higher agreement with the individualist dimensions than the structuralist or the fatalist ones, suggesting an individualist interpretation for their attributions for responsibility for peace. No significant difference appeared between fatalist and structuralist attributions among externals. This, however, does point to rejection of the hypothesis that links external locus of control to higher structuralist attributions (hypothesis 5). Support for the fifth and sixth hypotheses would exist if externals were more external in their attributions, but the data simply indicate that Lebanese youths, whether they are internals or externals, are more individualist in their causal attributions for peace.

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Table 4. t-Ratio Between All Combinatorial Attributions of Peace Controlled by External and Internal Locus of Control

  External     Internal    
  Mean SD t Mean SD t
Fatalistic 3.39 0.66   3.73 0.68  
      4.38** (df=38)     10.49** (df=46)
Individualistic 2.67 0.71   2.30 0.68  
             
Fatalistic 3.39 0.66   3.73 0.69  
      0.59 (df=39)     4.84** (df=43)
Structuralist 3.29 0.80   3.06 0.95  
             
Individualistic 2.62 0.75   2.33 0.65  
      3.55** (df=39)     5.43** (df=43)
Structuralist 3.25 0.89   3.06 0.95  

DISCUSSION

The results of this study did not agree with the findings of studies conducted in Lebanon (Khashan 1995) and Jordan (Pollock 1993), which showed that religion is a powerful predictor of Arab attitudes to peace with Israel. Although those results are informative, many events and debacles have been a source of disenchantment since the studies in question were conducted, resulting in little popular confidence in Lebanese institutions (religious, governmental, political parties, or educational ones) for dealing with the challenges of peace with Israel. The only main significant effect was found in class difference, where a significant difference in mean rating was obtained between high- and middle-class students, with higher disbelief among high-class individuals that religious or governmental institutions are able to deliver peace with Israel. This finding reinforces the view that the character of affluent Lebanese reflects Western individualism, which attributes positive events such as peace to internal factors like personal initiatives or direct involvement. Furthermore, the t-test results showed internals obtaining more individualist than structuralist or fatalist ratings on the peace-with-Israel attitude scale, and this appears to agree with the findings of the previous literature (Bergen 1995; Rotter 1966), namely that individuals with an internal locus of control have belief in their own ability to determine the course of events around them. However, this result is overshadowed by the fact that externals were also more individualist than structuralist or fatalist, which leads us to believe that individual personality style is not a predictor of how people in Lebanon cognize peace.

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Given that the majority of respondents in the sample did not endorse fatalist explanations of peace with Israel, one may wonder why fatalist attributions, which are supposed to be fostered by the religious structure of Lebanon (Tuma 1998), were less highly favored than individualist and structuralist ones. If Kluegel and Smith (1986) are right in their view that the basic psychological mechanisms of attribution biases reinforce individualist explanations for societal issues, then it seems that the effects of these mechanisms were fostered by the individualist ideology which has started to enter Lebanon through Western models of education and the role of mass media. The fact, especially, that gender differences were not evident in our results, does not agree with Cohn's description of Arab culture as follows:

The extended family – the clan – provides [Arabs] with a primary focus of affiliation…Group values are preeminent, casting the individual in a subordinate, even vulnerable, role. Leadership is paternalistic, society hierarchically organized. Conformism and obedience, not individualism, are central virtues…. In a collectivist society, the individual is vitally concerned with how he will appear in the eyes of others….(pp. 47-48)

From another perspective, the reasons our respondents displayed little confidence in Lebanese institutions (religious, governmental, political parties, or educational ones) in dealing with the challenges of peace with Israel may have included their experience of lack of political freedom and not being encouraged by their government and their religious and educational institutions to discuss or debate the issue of peace-building with Israel. In addition, the conflict with Israel, frequent intermittent wars, and the stalling peace talks have fuelled much disenchantment with the ability of Lebanese educational, governmental, or religious institutions to deal with the challenges of peace with Israel. Our college student sample showed individual effort as an alternative to political or institutional endeavours to reach peace. This finding concurred with Al-Mashat's (1983) study, which showed that youth did not report confidence in education, political, and religious institutions in attaining peace; rather, they showed a belief in their ability to induce change themselves.

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The attitudes to peace demonstrated in the present study do not necessarily represent the attitudes of all Lebanese citizens or even college students, because our sample was relatively small (n = 250) and skewed by the fact that respondents were drawn from only two university campuses, which both have a large Christian representation. As shown in our analysis, Lebanese youth who were more individualist than fatalist or structuralist in their ratings on the peace-with-Israel attitude scale reflected the behavioral structure of societies that are largely cosmopolitan and urban and considered to be "progressive." However, our results suggest that further research on locus of control and attributions for peace with Israel, using larger samples with a larger number of Muslim representation, may be justified. Furthermore, the locus of control scale was limited by the forced choice format. Levenson's (1973, p. 13) adaptation and reconstruction of the Rotter Scale included a continuum scale going from fate to "powerful others" and then to "individual others;" this may be more compatible with our peace scale. In addition, a peace scale along the dimensions of fatalism, individualism, and structuralism needs to be evaluated and further employed in cross-cultural studies conducted in war-ridden countries.

The findings of the present exploratory study suggest that future endeavors in the area of peace education in Lebanon should focus on constructing an internal locus of control among youth. A series of studies (e.g., Kishor 1983; Rose, et. al. 1996) provides support for the hypotheses that individuals who have a strong belief that, they control their own destiny are likely to be more alert to those aspects of real situations which provide useful information for future behavior. They are also likely to take steps to improve their environmental conditions, place greater value on skill, and be generally more concerned with their abilities, particularly their failures, and be resistant to subtle attempts to influence them.

Empirical studies dealing with political education have not engaged with studies of pedagogical and methodological problems that address conflict resolution; and most studies have been prescriptive in nature. The lack of special training in creative thinking often renders individuals complacent and passive in the face of critical discourses. Future seminars and learning opportunities on peace, as well as civics education programs, in Lebanon should therefore provide youth with information about the importance of peace, to encourage them to debate the advantages and disadvantages of peace, suggest improvements to peace-building efforts, and de-emphasize dogma. As it stands now, the bloody feud between Arabs and Israelis is not conducive to constructive initiatives for peace-building. The sponsoring of new publications and research that commit themselves to treating Arab-Israeli affairs should be further encouraged, as many Arab countries still recognize the need to maintain peace in the region.

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NOTES

1. Rotter's scale has 23 items and 6 fillers that are there to make the test more ambiguous. We removed these fillers from the 29-item list as originally designed by Rotter. As a result, a 23-item list was included in the final format of the questionnaire and administered to students. The respondents were asked to select from each paired-item set the one item which represented the statement closest to their own personal belief. The fact that the meaning and content of Rotter's original scale was homogeneous, the inclusion of other variables, such as sociodemographic ones, and the inclusion of the attitude scale provided enough ambiguity to allow us to eliminate Rotter's marginal fillers.

APPENDIX

Attitudes to Peace

Some Questions

The questions on this form are mainly about perceptions to events and how people see peace with Israel. Another section in the form is about opinion to the causes of poverty. This is not an exam and there are no right or wrong answers.

Please answer each question by yourself. We do not want you to put your name on the form. Once you handed it in, nobody will know that this is your form.

When you have finished, please read through your answers one more time in case you want to change or add anything.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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Part I

Please tick [check mark] in the box as appropriate.

1. Gender:

1. Male

 

 

2. Female

 

 

2. To which class you identify yourself with?

Affluent Class

 

 

Upper Middle Class

 

 

Middle Class

 

 

Lower Middle Class

 

 

Poor

 

 

3. How do you consider your mother’s level of educational attainment?

High

 

 

Middle

 

 

Low

 

 

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4. How do you consider you father’s level of educational attainment?

High

 

 

Middle

 

 

Low

 

 

5. From which region do you come from?

South

 

 

North

 

 

Beirut

 

 

Becaa

 

 

Mount Lebanon

 

 

Others, specify: ____________________________

6. There are some religious communities in Lebanon. If you feel that you belong to one, please tick the box.

Maronite

 

 

Sunnite

 

 

Shiite

 

 

Greek Catholic

 

 

Greek Orthodox

 

 

Protestant

 

 

Druze

 

 

If you would describe yourself in a way not listed, please write it here: _______________________________

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Part II

The statements below are about general attitudes to events. Please tick [check mark] in the box as appropriate.

This questionnaire attempts to find out the way in which certain important events in our society affect different people. Each time consists of a pair of alternatives letter a and b. Please select the one statement of each pair (and only one) which you more strongly believe to be truer rather than the one you think you should choose or the one you would like to be true. This is a measure of personal belief: obviously there is no right or wrong answer

Please Tick [check mark] in either box a or b corresponding to statement a or b in each item. Example:

X b
1 a. Many of the unhappy things in life are partly due to bad luck
b. People’s misfortunes result from the mistakes they make
a b
2 a. One of the major reasons why people have wars is because they do not take enough interest in politics
b. There will be always wars, no matter how hard people try to prevent them
a b
3 a. In the long run people get the respect they deserve in this world
b. Unfortunately, an individual’s worth often passes unrecognized no matter how hard he tries
a b
4 a. The idea that teachers are unfair to students is nonsense
b. Most students don’t realize the extent to which their grades are influenced by accidental happenings
a b
5 a. Without the right breaks one cannot be an effective leader
b. Capable people who fail to become leaders have not taken advantage of their opportunities
a b
6 a. No matter how hard you try some people just do not like you
b. People who cannot get other to like them do not understand how to get along with others
a b
7 a. I have often found that what is going to happen will happen
b. Trusting to fate has never turned out as well for me as making a decision to take a definite course of action
a b
8 a. In the case of the well prepared student there is rarely if ever such a thing as an unfair test
b. Many times exam questions tend to be so unrelated to course work that studying is really useless
a b
9 a. Becoming a success is a matter of hard work, luck has little or nothing to do with it
b. Getting a good job depends mainly on being in the right place at the right time
a b
10 a. The average citizen can have an influence in government decisions
b. This world is run by the few people in power, and there is not much the little guy can do about it
a b
11 a. When I make plans, I am almost certain that I can make them work
b. It is not always wise to plan too far ahead because many things turn out no matter a good or bad fortune anyhow
a b
12 a. In my case getting what I want has little or nothing to do with luck
b.
Many times we might just as well decide what to do by flipping a coin
a b
13 a. Who gets to be the boss often depends on who was lucky enough to be in the right place first
b. Getting people to do the right thing depends upon ability; luck has little or nothing to do with it
a b
14 a. As far as world affairs are concerned, most of us are the victims of forces we can neither understand nor control
b. By taking an active part in political and social affairs the people can control the events
a b
15 a. Most people don’t realize the extent to which their lives are controlled by accidental happenings
b. There is really no such thing as "luck"
a b
16 a. It is hard to know whether a person really likes you or not
b. How many friends you have depends upon how nice a person you are
a b
17 a. In the long run the bad things that happen to us are balanced by the good ones
b. Most misfortunes are the result of lack of ability, ignorance, laziness, or all three
a b
18 a. With enough effort, we can wipe out political corruption
b. It is difficult for people to have much control over the things politicians do in office
a b
19 a. Sometimes I can’t understand how teachers arrive at the grades they give
b. There is a direct connection between how hard I study and the grades I get
a b
20 a. Many times I feel I have little influence over the things that happen to me
b. It is impossible for me to believe that chance or luck play an important role in my life
a b
21 a. People are lonely because they don’t try to be friendly
b. There is not much use in trying too hard to please people, if they like you, they like you
a b
22 a. What happens to me is my own doing
b. Sometimes I feel that I don’t have enough control over the direction my life is taking
a b
23 a. Most of the time I can’t understand why politicians behave the way they do
b. In the long run the people are responsible for bad government on a national as well as on a local level
a b

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Part III

The statements on this section are concerned with attitudes to peace with Israel. Please tick v in the box which is the closet to your personal attitude.

1 = Strongly agree
2 = Agree
3 = Do not know
4 = Disagree
5 = Strongly disagree

Statements on Peace 1 2 3 4 5
1. Peace with Israel is mostly determined by luck or chance          
2. God only knows if there will be peace with Israel or not          
3. Our wars with Israel are mostly caused by misfortune          
4. Peace is in the hands of forces that we neither understand nor control          
5. Reading the horoscope helps me know when and whether peace will happen          
6. Peace starts with the individual          
7. I am confident of being able to deal with the challenges of peace with Israel          
8. My beliefs on peace can make a difference          
9. I can adjust myself to the peace challenges          
10. I can make my attitudes to peace with Israel work          
11. Our political system can face the challenges of peace with Israel          
12. Our educational system can cope with peace challenges          
13. Our economy is ready for regional competition after peace          
14. Our religious institutions can tolerate Israelis’ religious beliefs          
15. Lebanese political parties are able to deal with the challenges of peace with Israel          

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AUTHORS' BIOGRAPHIES

Ramzi Nasser is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Bishops University in Quebec, Canada. He has a Doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts (Lowell) in the United States. His current research interests are in alternative concepts in mathematics, cross-cultural issues in psychometric tests, gender stereotyping, and causal attribution of outcomes.

Kamal Abouchedid has a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies and Education from the University of Manchester, UK. Currently, he is the Director of the Office of Testing and Measurement at Notre Dame University, Lebanon. His research interests fall in the scope of multicultural education, gender, ethnicity issues, and peace education.

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