The Just-World Belief System

The Just-World Belief System

Beyond Bounds

Do you believe that everything happens for a reason? Do you believe you reap what you sow? Or maybe, what goes around comes around? Such figures of speech, that suggest inevitable retaliation, are part of a just-world belief system.

Those who have been raised in a religious context, or are aware of it, understand that good people go to heaven and sinners go to hell. They are taught that we have consequences for our actions and thoughts. Similarly, we have been systematically conditioned in schools that we get punished when we misbehave and we get rewarded if we’re compliant. You grow up with the assumption or association that when you do good things, you get rewarded and when you do bad things, you get punished.

This might explain why some people accuse poor people of being lazy. They believe that disadvantaged groups are the way they are as a consequence…

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