Antecedents and consequences of system-justifying ideologies

John T. Jost, Orsolya Hunyady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


According to system justification theory, there is a psychological motive to defend and justify the status quo. There are both dispositional antecedents (e.g., need for closure, openness to experience) and situational antecedents (e.g., system threat, mortality salience) of the tendency to embrace system-justifying ideologies. Consequences of system justification sometimes differ for members of advantaged versus disadvantaged groups, with the former experiencing increased and the latter decreased self-esteem, well-being, and in-group favoritism. In accordance with the palliative function of system justification, endorsement of such ideologies is associated with reduced negative affect for everyone, as well as weakened support for social change and redistribution of resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Conservatism
  • Ideology
  • Status quo
  • System justification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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