System Justification Theory

  title={System Justification Theory},
  author={J. Jost and Rick Andrews},
System justification is a social psychology term of art that designates any motivational tendency to defend, bolster, or rationalize existing social, economic, and political arrangements. It is conceptualized as a response tendency possessed by many, or perhaps most, members of society to see aspects of the overarching social system as good, fair, and legitimate. Consequently, alternatives to the status quo are often derogated or avoided for ideologically defensive reasons. In other words… Expand
Belief in a just God (and a just society): A system justification perspective on religious ideology.
Theoretical approaches that treat religiosity as an evolutionary byproduct of cognitive mechanisms to detect agency may help to explain the prevalence of superstitious thinking, but they say littleExpand
A quarter century of system justification theory: Questions, answers, criticisms, and societal applications
A theory of system justification was proposed 25 years ago by Jost and Banaji (1994, Br. J. Soc. Psychol., 33, 1) in the British Journal of Social Psychology to explain ‘the participation byExpand
Social Protest and Its Discontents: A System Justification Perspective
Psychological factors that encourage—as well as discourage—participation in social protest are often overlooked in the social sciences. In this article, we draw together recent contributions to theExpand
Twenty years of system justification theory: Introduction to the special issue on “Ideology and system justification processes”
Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich is not the first person (nor, we suspect, the last) to wonder why people, including members of disadvantaged groups, frequently accept existing social,Expand
Not All Ideologies are Created Equal: Epistemic, Existential, and Relational Needs Predict System-Justifying Attitudes
Whereas most social psychological perspectives assume that needs to manage uncertainty, existential anxiety, and social cohesion should motivate any form of ideological zeal, System JustificationExpand
Speculations on the Evolutionary Origins of System Justification
  • J. Jost, R. Sapolsky, H. Nam
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • Evolutionary psychology : an international journal of evolutionary approaches to psychology and behavior
  • 2018
The evolutionary origins of system justification are speculated on, that is, the ways in which people are motivated (often nonconsciously) to defend and justify existing social, economic, and political systems. Expand
System justification theory at 25: Evaluating a paradigm shift in psychology and looking towards the future
Future research is called on to further utilize nationally representative and multi-level data, investigate the relational motives behind system justification, address social change from a system justification perspective, and extend system justification theory's focus beyond WEIRD societies. Expand
Missing in (Collective) Action
Social-psychological models of collective action emphasize three antecedents of protest: (a) anger at perceived injustice, (b) social identification, and (c) beliefs about group efficacy. TheseExpand
Social Psychological Theory as History: Outlining the Critical-Historical Approach to Theory
  • Daniel Sullivan
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Personality and social psychology review : an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc
  • 2019
A third vision of critical-historical theory is proposed, committed to deep interdisciplinarity and historical validity claims—understanding individual and group experiences as part of historically contingent forces. Expand
Stripped of illusions? Exploring system justification processes in capitalist and post-Communist societies.
  • A. Cichocka, J. Jost
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • International journal of psychology : Journal international de psychologie
  • 2014
It is confirmed that there are lower levels of system justification in post-Communist countries, and it is found that system justification possesses similar social and psychological antecedents, manifestations and consequences in the two types of societies. Expand


A Decade of System Justification Theory: Accumulated Evidence of Conscious and Unconscious Bolstering of the Status Quo
Most theories in social and political psychology stress self-interest, intergroup conflict, ethnocentrism, homophily, ingroup bias, outgroup antipathy, dominance, and resistance. System justificationExpand
The psychology of system justification and the palliative function of ideology
In this chapter, we trace the historical and intellectual origins of system justification theory, summarise the basic assumptions of the theory, and derive 18 specific hypotheses from a systemExpand
Political conservatism as motivated social cognition.
The core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and justification of inequality and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dispositionally to manage uncertainty and threat. Expand
Social Inequality and the Reduction of Ideological Dissonance on Behalf of the System: Evidence of Enhanced System Justification among the Disadvantaged
According to system justification theory, people are motivated to preserve the belief that existing social arrangements are fair, legitimate, and justifiable (Jost & Banaji, 1994). The strongest formExpand
System Justification and the Meaning of Life: Are the Existential Benefits of Ideology Distributed Unequally Across Racial Groups?
In this research, we investigated the relations among system justification, religiosity, and subjective well-being in a sample of nationally representative low-income respondents in the UnitedExpand
The role of stereotyping in system‐justification and the production of false consciousness
Although the concept of justification has played a significant role in many social psychological theories, its presence in recent examinations of stereotyping has been minimal. We describe andExpand
God and the government: testing a compensatory control mechanism for the support of external systems.
The authors propose that the high levels of support often observed for governmental and religious systems can be explained, in part, as a means of coping with the threat posed by chronically orExpand