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System Justification

System justification is the motivational tendency to see existing social and structural arrangements (i.e., the status quo) within one’s social system as fair, just, and legitimate. Such systems can include, but are not limited to, one’s country and its sociopolitical system, the economic system, existing gender norms, social or institutional hierarchies, or one’s employer and the existing organizational rules and policies that are in effect. Said differently, people are often motivated to see the status quo as the most desirable and reasonable way for a particular system to be organized and function. Maintaining positive beliefs about one’s social system is desirable insofar as it reduces the psychological anxiety and threat associated with functioning in a system that is unfair, unjust, or unpredictable. Thus, people are ...

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