An important and often unexplored factor shaping life satisfaction is one’s perception of the world as a “just” place. The “just world hypothesis” is predicated on the idea that the world works as a place where people get what they merit, an idea that often serves as a means for people to rationalize injustices. The research addressing just world beliefs has expanded into a four-factor model that categorizes just world beliefs for self and others into subcategories of distributive and procedural justice. Distributive justice involves evaluations of the fairness of outcomes, allocations, or distribution of resources, while procedural concerns evaluations of the fairness of decision processes, rules, or interpersonal treatment. This study explored the relationship between the four just world beliefs subscales and overall satisfaction with life and examined their associations with demographic variables including ethnicity, age, gender, religion, and social class. The relationships of demographic factors with justice beliefs and life satisfaction generally yielded very small effect sizes. However, respondents who identified themselves as middle and upper class reported higher levels of life satisfaction than those who identified themselves as lower class, with a medium effect size. Consistent with the results of earlier research, regressing life satisfaction on the four justice beliefs subscales indicated that the two self-subscales (distributive and procedural) were significantly predictive of life satisfaction, but the two other subscales (distributive and procedural) were not.
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