Social Justice Research

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 61–84 | Cite as

Russian Adaptations of General and Personal Belief in a Just World Scales: Validation and Psychometric Properties

  • Sofya Nartova-Bochaver
  • Matthias Donat
  • Nadezhda Astanina
  • Claudia Rüprich


In a questionnaire study, Russian versions of the General and Personal belief in a just world (BJW) Scales were validated. Results from exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis showed that the Personal BJW Scale could be empirically differentiated from the General BJW Scale; however, both scales correlated positively. Good internal consistencies of both scales were demonstrated. Age was positively correlated with personal BJW but not with general BJW. Gender differences were found neither in personal nor in general BJW. Personal BJW was found to be stronger than general BJW. Convergent validity was tested by inspecting correlations of BJW scales with the Basic World Assumptions Scale. Divergent validity was examined by inspecting correlations with Markers for the Big Five Factor Structure Scale and Justice Sensitivity Scales. Both personal and general BJW showed positive connections with all subscales of the Basic World Assumptions Scale (self-worth, benevolence of world, justice, luck, and control). We demonstrated divergent validity of personal BJW regarding intellect, agreeableness, conscientiousness, beneficiary and perpetrator sensitivity, and divergent validity of general BJW regarding intellect, beneficiary, perpetrator, and observer sensitivity. Both BJW dimensions were unrelated to beneficiary and perpetrator sensitivity. In addition, general BJW was not related to observer sensitivity. Results give evidence for satisfactory psychometric properties and validation of the Russian versions of BJW scales.


Belief in a just world Personality psychology Five Factor model World assumptions Justice sensitivity Culture Validation 



We are very grateful to Prof. Dr. Claudia Dalbert for her kind permission to use BJW scale in Russia; to Prof. Dr. Manfred Schmitt for the chance to get high professional advice and always fruitful discussion; to Dr. Michael Wu for giving experience of common research on justice psychology. We also express our gratitude to the volunteers who took part in our study. This research was partially supported by Russian Foundation for the Humanities (Project 15-36-01233 by N. Astanina) and by Russian Science Foundation (Project 14-18-02163 by S. Nartova-Bochaver).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


  1. Adoric, V. C., & Kvartuc, T. (2007). Effects of mobbing on justice beliefs and adjustment. European Psychologist, 12(4), 261–271. Scholar
  2. Bastounis, M., Leiser, D., & Roland-Levy, C. (2004). Psychosocial variables involved in the constructions of lay thinking about the economy: Results of a cross-national survey. Journal of Economic Psychology, 25(2), 263–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bègue, L., & Bastounis, M. (2003). Two spheres of belief in a just world: Extensive support for the dimensional model of belief in a just world. Journal of Personality, 71(3), 435–463. Scholar
  4. Bègue, L., & Muller, D. (2006). Belief in a just world and hostile attributional bias. British Journal of Social Psychology, 45(1), 117–126.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bollmann, G., Krings, F., Maggiori, C., & Rossier, J. (2015). Differential associations of personal and general just-world beliefs with the five-factor and the HEXACO models of personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 87, 312–319. Scholar
  6. Calhoun, L. G., & Cann, A. (1994). Differences in assumptions about a just world: Ethnicity and point of view. Journal of Social Psychology, 134(6), 765–770.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Callan, M. J., Kay, A. C., Davidenko, N., & Ellard, J. H. (2009). The effects of justice motivation on memory for self- and other-relevant events. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 614–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cattell, R. B. (1966). The scree test for the number of factors. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 1(2), 245–276. Scholar
  9. Choma, B., Hafer, C. L., Crosby, F. J., & Foster, M. D. (2012). Perceptions of personal sex discrimination: The role of belief in a just world and situational ambiguity. The Journal of social psychology, 152(5), 568–585. Scholar
  10. Christandl, F. (2013). The belief in a just world as a personal resource in the context of inflation and financial crises. Applied Psychology, 62(3), 486–518. Scholar
  11. Christopher, A. N., Zabel, K. L., Jones, J. R., & Marek, P. (2008). Protestant ethic ideology: Its multifaceted relationships with just world beliefs, social dominance orientation, and right-wing authoritarianism. Personality and Individual Differences, 45(6), 473–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cohen, A. B., Wu, M. S., & Miller, J. (2016). Religion and culture: Individualism and collectivism in the East and West. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47(9), 1236–1249. Scholar
  13. Correia, I., Alves, H., Morais, R., & Ramos, M. (2015). The legitimation of wife abuse among women: The impact of belief in a just world and gender identification. Personality and Individual Differences, 76, 7–12. Scholar
  14. Correia, I., & Dalbert, C. (2007). Belief in a just world, justice concerns, and well-being at Portuguese schools. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 22, 421–437. Scholar
  15. Dalbert, C. (1999). The world is more just for me than generally: About the personal belief in a just world scale’s validity. Social Justice Research, 12(2), 79–98. Scholar
  16. Dalbert, C. (2001). The justice motive as a personal resource: Dealing with challenges and critical life events. New York, NY: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dalbert, C. (2002). Beliefs in a just world as a buffer against anger. Social Justice Research, 15, 123–145. Scholar
  18. Dalbert, C. (2009). Belief in a just world. In M. R. Leary & R. H. Hoyle (Eds.), Handbook of individual differences in social behavior (pp. 288–297). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  19. Dalbert, C., & Katona-Sallay, H. (1996). The “belief in a just world” construct in Hungary. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 27(3), 293–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dalbert, C., Montada, L., & Schmitt, M. (1987). Glaube an eine gerechte Welt als Motiv: Validierungskorrelate zweier Skalen [Belief in a just world: Validation correlates of two scales]. Psychologische Beiträge, 29(4), 596–615.Google Scholar
  21. Donat, M., Dalbert, C., & Kamble, S. V. (2014). Adolescents‘cheating and delinquent behavior from a justice-psychological perspective: The role of teacher justice. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 29, 635–651. Scholar
  22. Donat, M., Peter, F., Dalbert, C., & Kamble, S. V. (2016). The meaning of students’ personal belief in a just world for positive and negative aspects of school-specific well-being. Social Justice Research, 29(1), 73–102. Scholar
  23. Donat, M., Umlauft, S., Dalbert, C., & Kamble, S. V. (2012). Belief in a just world, teacher justice, and bullying behavior. Aggressive Behavior, 38(3), 185–193. Scholar
  24. Drovnina, E. G. (2014). Adaptacija oprosnika “Lichnaja vera v spravedlivyj mir” C. Dalbert [Adaptation of the questionnaire “Personal Belief in a Just World” by C. Dalbert]. Psihologicheskij zhurnal, 1(2), 79–83.Google Scholar
  25. Dzuka, J., & Dalbert, C. (2002). Mental health and personality of Slovak unemployed adolescents: The impact of belief in a just world. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32(4), 732–757. Scholar
  26. Ellard, J. H., Harvey, A., & Callan, M. J. (2016). The justice motive. In C. Sabbagh & M. Schmitt (Eds.), Handbook of social justice theory and research (pp. 127–143). New York, NY: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fasel, R., & Spini, D. (2010). Effects of victimization on the belief in a just world in four ex-Yugoslavian countries. Social Justice Research, 23(1), 17–36. Scholar
  28. Fatima, I. (2016). Personal belief in a just world and self-compassion as predictors of body appreciation in individuals with amputation using and not using prosthesis. Annals of King Edward Medical University, 22(2), 109–114.Google Scholar
  29. Fatima, I., & Khalid, R. (2007). Some aspects of reliability and validity of beliefs in a just world questionnaire. Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 5, 15–24.Google Scholar
  30. Fatima, I., & Suhail, K. (2010). Belief in a just world and subjective well-being: Mothers of normal and Down syndrome children. International Journal of Psychology, 45(6), 461–468. Scholar
  31. Fetchenhauer, D., Jacobs, G., & Belschak, B. (2005). Belief in a just world, causal attributions, and adjustment to sexual violence. Social Justice Research, 18(1), 25–42. Scholar
  32. Furnham, A. (2003). Belief in a just world: Research progress over the last decade. Personality and Individual Differences, 34(5), 795–817. Scholar
  33. Furnham, A., & Procter, E. (1989). Belief in a just world: Review and critique of the individual difference literature. British Journal of Social Psychology, 28(4), 365–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Fürntratt, E. (1969). Zur Bestimmung der Anzahl interpretierbarer gemeinsamer Faktoren in Faktorenanalysen psychologischer Daten [On the identifying the number of interpretable general factors in factor analyses of psychological data]. Diagnostica, 15, 62–75.Google Scholar
  35. Ghorpade, J., Lackritz, J., & Singh, G. (2006). Correlates of the protestant ethic of hard work: Results from a diverse ethno-religious sample. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 36, 2449–2473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Goldberg, L. R. (1992). The development of markers for the Big-Five factor structure. Psychological Assessment, 4(1), 26–42. Scholar
  37. Göregenli, M. (2003). Şiddet, kötü muamele ve işkenceye ilişkin değerlendirmeler, tutumlar ve deneyimler [Assessments, attitudes, and experiences related to violence, maltreatment, and torture]. İzmir: İşkencenin Onlenmesinde Hukukcuların Rolu Projesi Raporu.Google Scholar
  38. Gulevich, O. A. (2011). Social’naja psihologija spravedlivosti [Social psychology of justice]. Moscow: Institut psihologii RAN.Google Scholar
  39. Hafer, C. L. (2000). Investment in long-term goals and commitment to just means drive the need to believe in a just world. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26(9), 1059–1073. Scholar
  40. Hafer, C. L., & Bègue, L. (2005). Experimental research on just-world theory: Problems, developments, and future challenges. Psychological Bulletin, 131(1), 128–167. Scholar
  41. Hafer, C. L., Bègue, L., Choma, B. L., & Dempsey, J. L. (2005). Belief in a just world and commitment to long-term deserved outcomes. Social Justice Research, 18(4), 429–444. Scholar
  42. Hafer, C. L., & Rubel, A. N. (2015). Long-term focus and prosocial–antisocial tendencies interact to predict belief in just world. Personality and Individual Differences, 75, 121–124. Scholar
  43. Hafer, C. L., & Sutton, R. (2016). Belief in a just world. In C. Sabbagh & M. Schmitt (Eds.), Handbook of social justice theory and research (pp. 145–160). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Heuer, L., Penrod, S., Hafer, C. L., & Cohn, I. (2002). The role of resource and relational concerns for procedural justice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(11), 1468–1482. Scholar
  45. Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind, intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Professional.Google Scholar
  46. Horn, J. L. (1965). A rationale and test for the number of factors in factor analysis. Psychometrika, 30(2), 179–185. Scholar
  47. Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 6(1), 1–55. Scholar
  48. Janoff-Bulman, R. (1989). Assumptive worlds and the stress of traumatic events: Applications of the schema construct. Social Cognition, 7(2), 113–136. Scholar
  49. Janoff-Bulman, R. (1992). Shattered assumptions—Towards a new psychology of trauma. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  50. Johnston, C. S., Krings, F., Maggiori, C., Meier, L. L., & Fiori, M. (2016). Believing in a personal just world helps maintain well-being at work by coloring organizational justice perceptions. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 25(6), 1–15. Scholar
  51. Kamble, S. V., & Dalbert, C. (2012). Belief in a just world and wellbeing in Indian schools. International Journal of Psychology, 47(4), 269–278. Scholar
  52. Keller, C., & Siegrist, M. (2010). Psychological resources and attitudes toward people with physical disabilities. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40(2), 389–401. Scholar
  53. Knyazev, G. G., Mitrofanova, L. G., & Bocharov, V. A. (2010). Validizacija russkojazychnoj versii oprosnika L. Goldberga « Markery faktorov „Bol’shoj Pjaterki “» [Validization of Russian version of Goldberg’s “Big-Five factor markers” inventory]. Psihologicheskij zhurnal, 31(5), 100–110.Google Scholar
  54. Lerner, M. J. (1980). The belief in a just world: A fundamental delusion. New York, NY: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lerner, M. J., & Miller, D. T. (1978). Just world research and the attribution process: Looking back and ahead. Psychological Bulletin, 85(5), 1030–1051. Scholar
  56. Lerner, M. J., & Simmons, C. H. (1966). Observer’s reaction to the “innocent victim”: Compassion or rejection? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4(2), 203–210. Scholar
  57. Lipatov, A. A., Kuprejchenko, A. B., Gromova, A. I., & Shrader, H. (2015). Pravil’noe obshhestvo [Right society]. Saint Petersburg: Piter.Google Scholar
  58. Lipkus, I. M., Dalbert, C., & Siegler, I. C. (1996). The importance of distinguishing the belief in a just world for self versus others. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22(7), 666–677. Scholar
  59. McKechnie, V., & Harper, D. J. (2011). Belief in a just world and attitudes towards mental illness. Psychosis, 3(2), 145–147. Scholar
  60. Messick, D. M., Bloom, S., Boldizar, J. P., & Samuelson, C. D. (1985). Why are we fairer than others? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 21, 480–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Nartova-Bochaver, S. K., & Astanina, N. B. (2012). Individual differences in Russian adults’ justice sensitivity. Paper presented at the 16th European conference on personality psychology, Trieste, Italy.Google Scholar
  62. Nartova-Bochaver, S. K., & Astanina, N. B. (2013). Psihologicheskie problemy spravedlivosti v zarubezhnoj personologii: teorii i jempiricheskie issledovanija. [Theories and empirical research on justice in the foreign personality psychology]. Psihologicheskij zhurnal, 35(1), 16–32.Google Scholar
  63. Nartova-Bochaver, S. K., Hohlova, A. J., & Podlipnyak, M. B. (2013). Vera v spravedlivyj mir i psihologicheskoe blagopoluchie u gluhih i slyshashhih podrostkov i vzroslyh. [Belief in a Just world and mental well-being in deaf and hearing youth and adults]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial’naia psikhologiia, 2(3). Accessed 4 January 2017.
  64. Nesterova, M., Ignatjeva, S., & Ruza, A. (2015). Adaptation in Latvia of scales of personal and general belief in a just world. Social Sciences Bulletin, 1(20), 76–86.Google Scholar
  65. Nudelman, G. (2013). The belief in a just world and personality: A meta-analysis. Social Justice Research, 26(2), 105–119. Scholar
  66. Oppenheimer, L. (2006). The belief in a just world and subjective perceptions of society: A developmental perspective. Journal of Adolescence, 29(4), 655–669. Scholar
  67. Otto, K., Glaser, D., & Dalbert, C. (2009). Mental health, occupational trust, and quality of working life: Does belief in a just world matter?. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39(6), 1288–1315. Scholar
  68. Padun, M. A., & Kotel’nikova, A. V. (2008). Modifikacija metodiki issledovanija bazisnyh ubezhdenij lichnosti R. Janoff-Bul’man. [Modification of R. Janoff-Bulman’s measure of the personal basic assumptions]. Psihologicheskij zhurnal, 29(4), 98–106.Google Scholar
  69. Robinson, O. C., Lopez, F. G., Ramos, K., & Nartova-Bochaver, S. (2013). Authenticity, social context, and well-being in the United States, England, and Russia: A three country comparative analysis. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44(5), 719–737. Scholar
  70. Schmitt, M. (1996). Individual differences in Sensitivity to Befallen Injustice (SBI). Personality and Individual Differences, 21(1), 3–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Schmitt, M., & Baumert, A. (2016). Justice Sensitivity. In C. Sabbagh & M. Schmitt (Eds.), Handbook of social justice theory and research (pp. 161–180). New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  72. Schmitt, M., Baumert, A., Gollwitzer, M., & Maes, J. (2010). The justice sensitivity inventory: Factorial validity, location in the personality facet space, demographic pattern, and normative data. Social Justice Research, 23(2), 211–238. Scholar
  73. Schmitt, M., Dalbert, C., Montada, L., Gschwendner, T., Maes, J., Reichle, B., et al. (2008). Verteilung des Glaubens an eine gerechte Welt in der Allgemeinbevölkerung: Normwerte für die Skala Allgemeiner Gerechte-Welt-Glaube [Distribution of belief in a just world in the general population: Standard values of the General Belief in a Just World Scale]. Diagnostica, 54(3), 150–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Schmitt, M., Gollwitzer, M., Maes, J., & Arbach, D. (2005). Justice sensitivity: Assessment and location in the personality space. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 21(3), 202–211. Scholar
  75. Silver, K. E., Karakurt, G., & Boysen, S. T. (2015). Predicting prosocial behavior toward sex-trafficked persons: The roles of empathy, belief in a just world, and attitudes toward prostitution. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 24(8), 932–954. Scholar
  76. Strelan, P., & Sutton, R. M. (2011). When just-world beliefs promote and when they inhibit forgiveness. Personality and Individual Differences, 50(2), 163–168. Scholar
  77. Sutton, R. M., Calogero, R. M., & Bardi, A. (2012). A certain kind of just-world belief: The epistemic purpose of believing life treats other people fairly. Paper presented at the 16th European conference on personality psychology, Trieste, Italy.Google Scholar
  78. Sutton, R. M., & Douglas, K. M. (2005). Justice for all, or just for me? More evidence of the importance of the self–other distinction in just-world beliefs. Personality and Individual Differences, 39(3), 637–645. Scholar
  79. Tomaka, J., & Blascovich, J. (1994). Effects of justice beliefs on cognitive appraisal of and subjective, physiological, and behavioral responses to potential stress. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67(4), 732–740.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  80. Valiente, C., Espinosa, R., Vázquez, C., Cantero, D., & Fuentenebro, F. (2010). World assumptions in psychosis: Do paranoid patients believe in a just world? The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 198(11), 802–806.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  81. Wu, M. S., Yan, X., Zhou, C. H., Chen, Y., Li, J., Zhu, Z., et al. (2011). General belief in a just world and resilience: Evidence from a collectivistic culture. European Journal of Personality, 25(6), 431–442. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyNational Research University “Higher School of Economics”MoscowRussia
  2. 2.Department of Educational PsychologyMartin Luther University of Halle-WittenbergHalleGermany
  3. 3.Voronezh Institute (Branch) of Moscow Humanitarian-Economic UniversityVoronezhRussia

Personalised recommendations