Just world beliefs in an unjust society: A cross cultural comparison



Groups of matched British students(N = 53) and school-children (N = 70) and South African students(N = 86) and school-children(N = 69) completed the Rubin-Peplau Just World scale which yields three scores: beliefs in a just world (JW), beliefs in an unjust world (UJW), difference between just and unjust scores. A three-way (2 sex, 2 nationality, 2 education status) ANOVA was computed which showed that although there were no sex, and only one educational status difference, nationality yielded a highly significant difference on both just world, and total scores. The results were interpreted in terms of previous studies of just world beliefs and authoritarianism in South Africa. It was argued that beliefs in a just world help people justify the status quo in unjust societies.