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Erich Kirchler

University of Vienna

Although it seems reasonable to assume that activating patriotism might motivate citizens to cooperate with the state in reaching societal goals, the empirical evidence supporting this contention is based mostly on correlational rather than experimental studies. In addition, little is known on whether patriotism can be manipulated without simultaneously triggering nationalism and on the psychological processes which determine the patriotism-cooperation relation. This current article reports results of one survey and three experiments that manipulate patriotism by displaying either a national flag or national landscapes or by priming national achievements. The outcomes indicate that reported and manipulated patriotism indirectly increase tax compliance, although the national flag also increases nationalism. National achievements, on the other hand, seemingly increases trust in national public institutions and the voluntary motivation to cooperate, whereas national landscapes only increase the voluntary motivation to cooperate. Hence, it is possible to increase social capital in the form of trust and cooperation through patriotism without fostering nationalism as well.

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