Social Justice Research

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 331–344 | Cite as

Two Types of Justice Reasoning About Good Fortune and Misfortune: A Replication and Beyond

  • Aya Murayama
  • Asako Miura


While research into justice reasoning has progressed extensively, the findings and implications have been mainly limited to Western cultures. This study investigated the relationship between immanent and ultimate justice reasoning about others’ misfortune and good fortune in Japanese participants. The effects of goal focus and religiosity, which previously have been found to foster justice reasoning, were also tested. Participants were randomly assigned to one condition of a 2 (goal focus: long term or short term) × 2 (target person’s moral value: respected or thief) × 2 (type of luck: misfortune or good fortune) design. For immanent justice reasoning, the results revealed that a “bad” person’s misfortune was attributed to their past misdeeds, while a “good” person’s good fortune was attributed to their past good deeds. Regarding ultimate justice reasoning, it was found that a good person’s misfortune was connected more to future compensation than their good fortune, whereas a bad person’s misfortune was not reasoned about using ultimate justice. There was no significant effect of religiosity or goal focus on justice reasoning, which is inconsistent with the findings of previous studies. The necessity of directly examining cultural differences is discussed in relation to extending and strengthening the theory of justice reasoning.


Justice reasoning Types of fortune Immanent justice Ultimate justice Religiosity 



This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 25780381.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of International StudiesKindai UniversityHigashi-osakaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Psychological ScienceKwansei Gakuin UniversityNishinomiyaJapan

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