Perceived Deservingness of Outcomes as a Function of Religious Fundamentalism and Target Responsibility


Luke Galen, Department of Psychology, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI 49401. E-mail:


We examined the perception of deserved outcomes associated with religious fundamentalism (RF). Interviews with videotaped targets varied in target's religiosity, responsibility, and outcome valence (good/bad). Participants either low (LF) or high (HF) on RF formulated an impression of how deserving a target was for a situational outcome. Participants low in RF held targets to be less deserving of a bad outcome than a good one; the HF group showed this to a lesser degree. HFs believed the target was more deserving of a bad outcome than did LFs, even when the target was not responsible for the outcome. Religious fundamentalism is related to attributing greater deservingness of bad outcomes, possibly because of a greater belief in a just world.