Woke people are more unhappy in life than conservatives, study finds

Woke people are more unhappy in life than conservatives, study finds

Watch Nadine Dorries SLAM the woke rebrand of Cheltenham festival 'Ladies' Day'

GB News
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 22/03/2024

- 10:17

'Woke' people were more anxious and depressed, researchers found, but not as much as left-wingers

"Woke" people are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than their conservative colleagues, a team of psychologists has found.

Researchers from the University of Turku in Finland had led a study into people's commitment to 'social justice' via a survey which judged respondents against a set of "woke" tests.

In the paper, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology last week, researchers devised the "Critical Social Justice Attitudes Scale" (CSJAS) in order to assess what kind of views made someone "woke".

After surveying almost 900 people, the team initially identified 26 giveaways, but as the study went on, they refined this down to a shortlist of seven, before sending it out to members of the public via Finland's largest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat.

Stock protest image

Women were far more receptive to "woke" beliefs than men, the first-of-its-kind study found


The psychologists' final findings - helped out by 5,000 paper-reading Finns who took the survey - revealed that stronger beliefs in the following statements proved a reliable litmus test for "wokeness":

  • "If white people have on average a higher level of income than black people, it is because of racism."
  • "University reading lists should include fewer white or European authors."
  • "Microaggressions should be challenged often and actively."
  • "A white person cannot understand how a black person feels equally well as another black person."
Strongly disagreeing with these three ideas was also a giveaway, researchers found:
  • "Trans women who compete with women in sports are not helping women’s rights."
  • "A member of a privileged group can adopt features or cultural elements of a less privileged group."
  • "We don’t need to talk more about the colour of people’s skin."
\u200bOskari Lahtinen/Turku

Oskari Lahtinen from Finland's University of Turku led the study, which focussed on Finns - but said it needed testing in the US

ResearchGate/Wikimedia Commons

The study's author, Oskari Lahtinen, a senior researcher at the University of Turku's Invest Research Flagship Centre, noted a study to "assess the extent and prevalence of these attitudes in different populations" had never been done before.

The results of the research - which gave respondents "CSJAS scores" - revealed several surprising links between political leanings and mental well-being, as well as a string of other factors which may contribute to someone's "wokeness".

Having high scores, the study found, "was linked to anxiety, depression, and a lack of happiness" - though not as strongly as being left-wing.

The research paper said a "lower level of mental well-being was mostly associated with being on the political left and not specifically with having a high CSJAS score", and pointed out that this was a link that other studies have highlighted before.


Notably, the study found that people who believed the statement "if white people have on average a higher income than black people, it is because of racism" were the most likely to suffer from anxiety or depression.

Women were far more receptive to "woke" beliefs than men - "men rejected all but one item in the final CSJA scale, whereas women were cautiously supportive of scale items", the paper said.

The groups most aligned with the "woke" items were people who identified as an "other" gender, left-wing political party supporters and female university students who studied the humanities, education or social sciences.

Lahtinen praised his team's efforts as "robust", but stressed that in order to make the study globally worthwhile, it needed to be tested abroad - specifically, in the US, from where he said these attitudes originate.

You may like