System justification theory and the alleviation of emotional distress: Palliative effects of ideology in an arbitrary social hierarchy and in society

John T. Jost, Cheryl J. Wakslak, Tom R. Tyler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

In addition to serving a hegemonic function, system-justifying ideologies serve the palliative function of enabling people to feel better about inequality. We summarize three studies supporting this proposition. In the first study, an arbitrary hierarchy was created using the "Star Power" simulation. Results reveal that system justification is associated with increased positive affect, satisfaction, and decreased negative affect, guilt, and frustration. Two additional studies demonstrate that the dampening effect of system justification on support for the redistribution of resources is mediated by reduced moral outrage but not guilt or negative affect. Implications for social change and social justice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationJustice
EditorsKaren Hegtvedt, Jody Clay-Warner
Pages181-211
Number of pages31
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 11 2008

Publication series

NameAdvances in Group Processes
Volume25
ISSN (Print)0882-6145

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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    Jost, J. T., Wakslak, C. J., & Tyler, T. R. (2008). System justification theory and the alleviation of emotional distress: Palliative effects of ideology in an arbitrary social hierarchy and in society. In K. Hegtvedt, & J. Clay-Warner (Eds.), Justice (pp. 181-211). (Advances in Group Processes; Vol. 25). https://doi.org/10.1016/S0882-6145(08)25012-5