Vargas-Salfate, S, Paez, D, Khan, SS, Liu, JH and Gil de Zúñiga, H (2018) System justification enhances well-being: A longitudinal analysis of the palliative function of system justification in 18 countries. British Journal of Social Psychology. ISSN 0144-6665

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According to the palliative function of ideology hypothesis proposed by System Justification Theory, endorsing system-justifying beliefs is positively related to general psychological well-being, because this fulfils existential, epistemic, and relational needs. We discuss and address three main issues: (1) the role of societal inequality, (2) comparisons by social status, and (3) cross-sectional versus longitudinal research. We used a longitudinal survey of representative online samples (N = 5,901) from 18 countries. The results supported the main argument proposed by the theory, in that system justification was positively and significantly related to life satisfaction and negatively related to anxiety and depression. The pattern of results suggested that the palliative function of system justification is more homogeneously distributed across individual and collective measures of social status than proposed by the theory, because the function was unaffected either by society-level inequality or by individual-level social status. These results allow us to infer that one of the reasons for the high stability of social arrangements is located in the psychological domain of palliative effects.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final published version of this article can be found online at
Uncontrolled Keywords: system justification theory; palliative function; ideology; inequality; status; longitudinal analysis
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2018 08:25
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2019 01:30

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