Short Research Note
Left–right ideological differences in system justification following exposure to complementary versus noncomplementary stereotype exemplars
Article first published online: 18 FEB 2008
Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 39, Issue 2, pages 290–298, March 2009
How to Cite
Kay, A. C., Czapliński, S. and Jost, J. T. (2009), Left–right ideological differences in system justification following exposure to complementary versus noncomplementary stereotype exemplars. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 39: 290–298. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.500
- Issue published online: 20 FEB 2009
- Article first published online: 18 FEB 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 JAN 2008
- Manuscript Received: 14 JUL 2006
The capacity for victim-derogating stereotypes and attributions to justify social inequality and maintain the status quo is well known among social scientists and other observers. Research conducted from the perspective of system justification theory suggests that an alternative to derogation is to justify inequality through the use of complementary stereotypes that ascribe compensating benefits and burdens to disadvantaged and advantaged groups, respectively. In two experimental studies conducted in Poland we investigated the hypothesis that preferences for these two routes to system justification would depend upon one's political orientation. That is, we predicted that the system-justifying potential of complementary versus noncomplementary stereotype exemplars would be moderated by individual differences in left–right ideology, such that left-wingers would exhibit stronger support for the societal status quo following exposure to complementary (e.g., “poor but happy,” “rich but miserable”) representations, whereas right-wingers would exhibit stronger support for the status quo following exposure to noncomplementary (e.g., “poor and dishonest,” “rich and honest”) representations. Results were supportive of these predictions. Implications for theory and practice concerning stereotyping, ideology, and system justification are discussed. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.