Distrust mindset and non-normative behaviour: From perceptions of social reality to violations of social norms

Project VEGA 2/0030/24

Duration of the project: 01/2024 – 12/2027

Principal investigator:
Mgr. Matúš Grežo, PhD.

List of co-investigators:
Mgr. Magdalena Adamus, PhD.
Mgr. Martin Sedlár, PhD.
Mgr. Jana Tencerová, PhD.


The global threats of recent years (pandemics, migration, war conflicts) have led to a change in social norms. However, a part of the population does not adhere to these norms, despite the possible negative social consequences. It has been shown that one of the key predictors of non-normative behaviour is distrust of institutions and traditional authorities. The aim of this project is to conceptualise and examine the concept of distrust mindset based on recent psychological models of distrust. It also aims to test the assumption that people with a distrust mindset are more likely to behave non-normatively because they experience changes in their perception of social reality. The project tests the assumption in the context of prosocial and health- related behaviours. The implications of the project go beyond non-normative behaviour and may contribute to the understanding of current pressing social problems such as social polarisation, the succumbing to epistemically unfounded beliefs, or radicalism.

Distrust mindset, non-normative behavior, perception of social reality