System justification refers to a social psychological propensity to defend and bolster the status quo, that is, to see it as good, fair, legitimate, and desirable. A consequence of this tendency is that existing social, economic, and political arrangements tend to be preferred, and alternatives to the status quo are disparaged. System justification refers, therefore, to an inherently conservative tendency to defend and justify the status quo simply because it exists, sometimes even at the expense of individual and collective self-interest.

System Justification Theory

To understand how and why people accept and maintain the social systems that affect them, social psychologists have developed system justification theory. According to system justification theory, people want to hold favorable attitudes about themselves (ego-justification) and their own groups (group-justification), and they ...

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