Social class and envy among Chinese undergraduates: Victim justice sensitivity as a mediator

You-Juan Hong1, Rong-Mao Lin1, Rong Lian1
1School of Psychology, Fujian Normal University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Hong, Y.-J., Lin, R.-M., & Lian, R. (2020). Social class and envy among Chinese undergraduates: Victim justice sensitivity as a mediator. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 48(6), e9185.

Volume 48 Issue 6 | e9185 | Published: June 2020 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.9185

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We examined the relationship between social class and envy, and the role of victim justice sensitivity in this relationship among a group of 1,405 Chinese undergraduates. The students completed measures of subjective social class, victim justice sensitivity, and dispositional envy. The results show that a lower social class was significantly and negatively related to envy and victim justice sensitivity, whereas victim justice sensitivity was significantly and positively related to envy. As predicted, a lower social class was very closely correlated with envy. In addition, individuals with a lower (vs. higher) social class had a greater tendency toward victim justice sensitivity, which, in turn, increased their envy. Overall, our results advance scholarly research on the psychology of social hierarchy by clarifying the relationship between social class and the negative emotion of envy.

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