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Belief in a Just World

Sibel Kılınç, Fuat Torun.

Belief in a just world hypothesis is defined as the belief that the world is a just place where people generally get what they deserve. It states that individuals have a need to believe that they live in a just world; they believe in a world where people get what they deserve and where people deserve what they get. Individuals believe that who work hard or who perform good acts obtain rewards for their actions, while the sinners and the laggards receive punishments instead. Similarly, individuals want to believe that positive outcomes, whether money, success, or happiness, are obtained only by good people and, conversely, that negative outcomes only happen to bad persons. Justice beliefs have been hypothesized as adaptive for dealing with day-to-day stres. Just world beliefs protect individuals from the daily negative psychological consequences of living in what is realistically an unjust world. In addition, just world beliefs are thought to enhance feelings of security to the extent that if the individual satisfies the conditions for being good he or she is protected from injustice. The belief in a just world, like other positive illusions, should contribute to the maintenance of one's mental health. Belief in a just world's is discussed in two ways: personal belief in a just world's answers the question “how much justly is the world to me?”, whereas the belief in a just world's in general answers the question “how much justly is the world?”

Key words: just world belief, justice, mental health

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