On social stability and social change: Understanding when system justification does and does not occur
More than a decade of research from the perspective of system-justification theory (Jost & Banaji, 1994) has demonstrated that people engage in motivated psychological processes that bolster and support the status quo. We propose that this motive is highly contextual: People do not justify their social systems at all times but are more likely to do so under certain circumstances. We describe four contexts in which people are prone to engage in system-justifying processes: (a) system threat, (b) system dependence, (c) system inescapability, and (d) low personal control. We describe how and why, in these contexts, people who wish to promote social change might expect resistance. © Association for Psychological Science 2011.
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)