What does a JUST WORLD look like? – PSYCHOLOGY – QQ


What exactly is Belief in a Just World? It’s the conviction that people get what
they deserve and deserve what they get. Very much like Karma. So when do we start believing in Belief in a
Just World? Well, according to Lerner’s 1980 just-world
theory, it typically happens when kids stop looking for quick rewards and start respecting moral rules and conventions in return for longer-term rewards. You know the old saying, “You reap what
you sow”. Well, thats much like it. Well Lerner wanted answers to why cruel regimes maintained popular support and why people accept the norms and laws that bring suffering. Time went on and he noticed a few things like, his students belittling the poor, who were apparently oblivious to the social structures that caused it, and good doctors blaming mentally ill patients
for their own suffering. In 1966, he used shock paradigms to see how observers reacted to victimization. At the University of Kansas, 72 females were chosen to watch a confederate be shocked. Initially they felt sympathy as they watched. But, after watching with no chance of helping, they started to degrade him. Its also worth noting, the greater the suffering, the greater the degradation. This changed when they were told the confederate was receiving compensation for his suffering. So, why in the world did they act that way? Well Lerner theorized that a just world is
a functional one, that is, its the idea that one can influence
the world in a predictable way. This means that it’s important for people
to believe in this to maintain their own well-being. Since of course, we know the world isn’t
always kind, even to the deserving. And of course we being who we are, we’ve developed strategies to help us sort
through the threats to this belief. For instance, by using rational strategies: accepting the reality of injustice, trying to stop it, being open to our limitations. Versus the irrational: denial, withdrawal from society, or a reinterpretation of events, commonly, victim blaming. From the 1970’s to the present day, research has still been ongoing. Let’s take Illnesses for example. A different set of researchers found that
observers see sick people as responsible for their own illness, regardless of how they became sick. In one experiment, they found the more attractive you were the less likely you were to be degraded. Interestingly enough, severe illnesses were
met with degradation unless you were a cancer patient, in which
you were not degraded. We can even see it with poverty. The unfortunate thing about this is that no
matter what external causes that surround a persons life that led to poverty, people will not only
blame the poor for their own misfortune. But they’ll ignore the external factors like the economic systems, war or even exploitation. As another example, we can talk about violence. I have to note the next example concerns violence against a fictional woman, short and vague as it may be, you may want to skip it if you believe it’ll bring you personal
pain. Click on the link at the bottom of the screen to skip past it. Now research done by Linda Carli and colleagues took two groups of subjects, and told them a story
of a man and a woman. keeping both stories the same, but changing the ending. Group A received a neutral ending, think of how a normal meeting would end. Group B on the other hand received the ending where the man raped the woman. The rape ending was deemed unavoidable and the woman was blamed in the story based on her behaviour, instead of her characteristics, like strength
instance. This study was repeated and found to produce similar results, even when changing the neutral ending to a marriage proposal. Its a shame that some blame themselves for traumatic events that are uncontrollable. A paper by Dr. Ronnie Janoff-Bulman found rape victims blamed themselves, based on their own behaviour instead of their own characteristics, the same answer as the observers gave in Linda Carli’s study. Now it’s because of the consistency of the
studies that have led just-world theory to be widely accepted around the globe. Now this doesn’t mean the entire world shares the same level of belief. The level of belief has found that right-wing authoritarianism, protestant work ethic, and aspects of religiousness have a strong
positive correlation. But, the biggest differences may be found
through cross-cultural studies. One study suggests that in countries where the citizens are powerless, the belief system is much weaker than in those where citizens have more power. Its supposed that its because these people
have had experiences that solidify the understanding that the world
isn’t just and predictable. With this we can understand why crime tends to be high in these regions. So Belief in a Just World, terrible right? Well yes.. and no. Current research suggests that Belief in a
Just World may be necessary for our mental health. It acts as a coping mechanism by giving us a sense of control over things that stress us out
or with traumatic events. Its acts as our positive illusion in a sense. More research is definitely needed to fully
understand this phenomenon. With work mainly being done in the U.S., Europe, Australia and Asia. Well that’s it, I hope you enjoyed this
video and if your in the mood to learn more in 5 minutes
or so come back in two weeks for the next one. Bye for now.

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