Control and belief in the just world: What's good also can be bad

Richard A. Feinberg1, Amy Powell1, Franklin Miller1
1Purdue University, United States
Cite this article:  Feinberg, R. A., Powell, A., & Miller, F. (1982). Control and belief in the just world: What's good also can be bad. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 10(1), 57-62.

Volume 10 Issue 1 | e360 | Published: February 1982 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1982.10.1.57

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The just world hypothesis provides an explanation for the finding that observers derogate victims. By admitting the appropriateness of a victim's fate, observers may develop a sense of control over the possibility of similar fates. Two experiments investigated the relationship between the magnitude of motivation for control over the environment and tendency to derogate victims. In Experiment One, situational controllability and uncontrollability were manipulated within a learned helplessness procedure and derogation of a victimized stranger assessed. In Experiment Two, subjects completed the Need for Control and Belief in the Just World scales, measures of motivation for environmental control and the tendency to derogate victims. The results indicate that motivation and need for control underlie victim derogation.
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