Can we count on each other? An inquiry about Portuguese citizens’ individual and relational dispositions

Maria Minas


Every human being has the capacity to contribute to collective well-being. The purpose of this article is to understand the dispositions and perceptions of a group of Portuguese citizens, regarding their relationships with others and their satisfaction with life, having into consideration the differences according to the socio-economic level and sex. This article presents a quantitative study involving an analysis of the 1187 Portuguese citizens’ responses to an online questionnaire aimed at analyzing their satisfaction with life (SLS), sense of community (BSCS), perceived social support (SPS), social comparison (SCS), competition (SAIS), external shame (OASS) and willingness to contribute (WCS) of members of the Portuguese society, whilst understanding the influence of sociodemographic characteristics such as sex and socio-economic situation. Crossing the values assigned to Competition and socio-economic situation (Resources) four groups were created. The results showed that both the highest values for SLP, SPS, BSCS, and the lowest values for OASS, were predominantly concentrated in the Low Competition-High Resources Group. By contrast, the lowest values for SLS, SPS, and the highest values in OASS were predominantly concentrated in the High Competition-Low Resources Group. In respect to WCS, the lowest values were concentrated at the High Competition groups and the highest values at the Low Competition groups. No statistical differences were found for SCS between groups. These results suggest that the focus on collective values of mutual trust are associated with greatest satisfaction with life, social support and willingness to contribute, involving less need for competition and defensiveness.


Portuguese citizen well-being, Quantitative analysis, Online questionnaire.

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