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    Is being Polish a reason to be proud or ashamed? – the Polish Academy of Sciences psychologists’ report

    Is being Polish a reason to be proud or ashamed? This question troubles many people in Poland, which is why a team of researchers from the Laboratory of Political Cognition at the Institute of Psychology of the Polish Academy of Sciences decided to investigate what contemporary Polishness looks like and the attitudes of Poles and Polish women towards their own nation.

    Their report “Do and how do we identify with Poland today?” presents five different types of attitudes to Polishness and patriotism.

    The study was conducted on a group of 1504 people of different ages. A number of factors were taken into account, such as attitudes towards one’s own group and strangers, attitudes towards faith, tradition, the European Union, as well as psychological variables such as levels of self-esteem, feelings of loneliness or narcissism. On this basis, the researchers distinguished five groups: fulfilled democrats, open-minded traditionalists, committed conservatives, ashamed of Poland and withdrawn pessimists.

    The first three groups, i.e. fulfilled democrats, open traditionalists and committed conservatives, are attached to Poland and are actively involved in the life of the country. Fulfilled democrats, often with liberal views, have a strong sense of connection with other Poles and see patriotism as caring about their country and participating in elections. Open-minded traditionalists take pride in their Polishness and attach importance to tradition, history and customs. Committed conservatives combine patriotism with caring for tradition, respect for country and political activism.

    In contrast, groups of ashamed of Poland and withdrawn pessimists do not identify with the nation and nationality. Ashamed of Poland are those with left-wing views who are open to foreigners but negative towards Poles. Withdrawn pessimists have a negative attitude towards both strangers and their compatriots. Polishness has little meaning for them and they focus more on their everyday problems.

    The report also explored the understanding of patriotism. As a result of the analysis, the researchers distinguished two main streams: national patriotism and civic patriotism. National patriotism is associated with great deeds and sacrifices. Civic patriotism, on the other hand, focuses on everyday actions for the good of the country.

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