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Social cynicism, a general belief about the malevolent nature of people and social institutions, shows a negative influence on many attitudes and behaviors, but little is known about the factors that give rise to this belief syndrome. We hypothesized and confirmed the role of low evaluation of societal conditions as an antecedent of social cynicism in a longitudinal study in 3 Chinese cities. Consistent with the person specificity argument, we found that low evaluation of societal conditions exerted little influence on distress, a self-relevant outcome variable. Instead, work–family conflict, which reflects one's personal experiences, was found to be a significant antecedent of distress, but it exerted little influence on social cynicism, a worldview. Implications of the findings are discussed.