A person by situation account of motivated system defense

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Three studies demonstrate how individual differences in confidence in the sociopolitical system interact with threats that engage the system justification motive to produce system defense. Following threat, participants low, but not high, in system confidence increasingly defended the system, by rejecting system change (Study 1) and preferring domestic over international products (Studies 2 and 3). These findings contribute to the literature on system justification theory in two ways: First, they expand scholars' understanding of when and for whom system-level threats instigate motivational processes of system defense, and, second, they demonstrate that the system justification motive is not merely another example of worldview verification phenomena but instead involves a specific goal to defend the status quo. © The Author(s) 2011.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Banfield, JC; Kay, AC; Cutright, KM; Wu, EC; Fitzsimons, GJ

Published Date

  • March 1, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 212 - 219

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1948-5514

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1948-5506

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1948550610386809

Citation Source

  • Scopus