Koreans Believe Success a Matter of Sheer Luck

      October 17, 2014 08:37

      Koreans continue to believe that happenstance plays a decisive role in determining personal success, way ahead of people elsewhere in the world.

      The Pew Research Center, an American think tank, recently surveyed 48,643 people from 44 countries on their attitudes toward opportunity and inequality and found that 74 percent of Korean respondents feel success in life is determined by "things outside a person's control, such as luck or having a wealthy family," second only to Turks (75 percent).

      The only other countries where more than 70 percent of the respondents feel that way are Bangladesh and Vietnam.

      Korea was included among advanced countries in the survey along with France, Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.

      In other advanced countries, an average of 51 percent said external forces determine success, less than the average of 56 percent in emerging or developing countries.

      But Korea stood out. In the U.S., only 40 percent and in Japan 51 percent feel the same way. In China the proportion is 58 percent.

      Asked whether the gap between rich and poor is a serious social problem, 55 percent of Koreans said yes, roughly in line with the average of 56 percent in advanced countries. But when asked whether the next generation will enjoy better living conditions, 52 percent of Koreans were optimistic, the highest proportion in advanced countries.

      Koreans are also the most enthusiastic supporters of the free-market economy at 78 percent.

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