We would like to thank Detlef Fetchenhauer and Sebastian Lotz for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.
Life Satisfaction and Job-Seeking Behavior of the Unemployed: The Effect of Individual Differences in Justice Sensitivity
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2013 International Association of Applied Psychology
Volume 63, Issue 4, pages 643–670, October 2014
How to Cite
Stavrova, O., Schlösser, T. and Baumert, A. (2014), Life Satisfaction and Job-Seeking Behavior of the Unemployed: The Effect of Individual Differences in Justice Sensitivity. Applied Psychology:An International Review, 63: 643–670. doi: 10.1111/apps.12009
- Issue published online: 3 SEP 2014
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2013
This study examines the effect of justice sensitivity on the life satisfaction and job-seeking behavior of unemployed individuals and considers the likelihood of experiencing long-term unemployment. We focus on two facets of dispositional justice sensitivity that reflect individual differences in perception and reactions to perpetrating injustice against others (perpetrator sensitivity) or suffering from the injustice of others as an innocent victim (victim sensitivity). We hypothesised that the negative effect of unemployment on life satisfaction is stronger among individuals with higher levels of victim sensitivity and perpetrator sensitivity. The former are more likely to perceive themselves as victims of an unjust situation, such as fate or the employer's decisions, whereas the latter are more likely to perceive themselves as perpetrators against the rules of social justice. Using survey data from approximately 400 participants, we found that unemployed individuals were less satisfied with life than employed individuals and that this relationship was stronger for perpetrator-sensitive individuals. Unemployed perpetrator-sensitive individuals were more likely to engage in active job-seeking behavior and faced a lower likelihood of long-term unemployment. The results are discussed in terms of the importance of justice-related personality aspects of unemployed individuals for their well-being and labor market outcomes.