The belief in a just world refers to the view that the world is a fair place in which people generally get what they deserve. This belief helps people feel that they have control over their lives and will not suffer unjustly; as such, it serves a protective function. People are motivated to hold onto their belief in a just world and attempt to interpret the events in their own and others' lives in ways that are consistent with it. For example, when people see others suffering, they will try to help, but if they cannot compensate the victims or ease their suffering, they will persuade themselves that the victims deserve to suffer. This has important societal implications. To maintain just world beliefs, people react ...

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