According to just world theory (Lerner, 1977, 1980; Lerner, Miller, & Holmes, 1976), people have a basic need to believe that the world is a just place—a place where individuals get what they deserve and deserve what they get. The belief in a just world provides an explanation for people’s responses to the suffering of others, especially their tendency to blame innocent victims for their fate (see Lerner & Miller, 1978, for a review). Rubin and Peplau (1975) proposed that individuals differ in the extent to which they actually believe the world is a just place. Studies investigating the relationship between individual differences in just world beliefs and attitudes toward suffering generally show that strong believers in a just world have a greater tendency to blame victims for their misfortune and a greater acceptance of general social inequalities than do weak believers (e.g., Clyman, Roth, Sniderman, & Charrier, 1980; Dalbert, Fisch, & Montada, 1992; Furnham, 1985; Furnham & Gunter, 1984; Glennon & Joseph, 1993; Smith, 1985; Wagstaff, 1983; Zuckerman, Gerbasi, Kravitz, & Wheeler, 1975; see Furnham & Procter, 1989, for a review).
- Emotional Response
- Strong Belief
- Relative Deprivation
- Choice Condition
- Poor Grade
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Hafer, C.L., Olson, J.M. (1998). Individual Differences in the Belief in a Just World and Responses to Personal Misfortune. In: Montada, L., Lerner, M.J. (eds) Responses to Victimizations and Belief in a Just World. Critical Issues in Social Justice. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4757-6418-5_5
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