The palliative function of system-justifying ideologies

Jaime L. Napier, Maria Laura Bettinsoli, Alexandra Suppes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Beliefs that justify or rationalizing existing inequalities appear to serve a ‘palliative function’, insofar as they are associated with better subjective well-being and physical health. We review the most recent work on the relationship between system-justifying ideologies and subjective well-being, with a particular focus on (1) system justifying beliefs among members of disadvantaged groups, and (2) the contextual variation in the relationship between system justifying beliefs and subjective well-being. We then turn to open questions for future research, including questions about causality, the role of religiosity, measurement of subjective well-being, and long-term versus short-term effects of system justification on well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
StatePublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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