Why does the "mental shotgun" fire system-justifying bullets?

Danielle Gaucher, John T. Jost

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We suggest that people privilege explanations relying on inherent rather than contingent factors not only because of an innate cognitive tendency to monitor reality, but because doing so satisfies the desire to perceive the societal status quo as legitimate. In support, we describe experimental studies linking the activation of system justification motivation to the endorsement of inherence-based (essentialist) explanations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 12 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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