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Social Justice Orientation

  • By: Kristina R. Schmukler, Elisabeth M. Thompson & Faye J. Crosby
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

When, why, and how do people decide that something is fair or unfair? For the past half-century, social justice has been an active area of study for social psychologists. Social justice researchers study both individuals and groups, trying to understand how people make justice decisions and what they perceive and feel about the fairness of others' decisions.

Social Justice Theories
Just-World Theory

Do most people care about justice? Cynics say no and point out people's inhumanity to each other as proof. But Melvin Lerner proposed a theory called belief in a just world, stating that all people want to imagine that they live in a just world. Experiments show people's desire to maintain the illusion of fairness often leads them to do cruel acts. If someone receives bad ...

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