In a previous installment of this series, we talked about a psychological consistency theory known as Belief in a Just World. Here’s a good explanation of the phenomenon by prominent researcher, Carol Tavris:
“Consistency theories all assume that human beings have a fundamental need to find meaning and order in life’s experiences. Psychologist Melvin J. Lerner adds that we need to believe in a just world, one in which people get what they deserve, good is rewarded, the sinful punished. The Belief in a Just World, he argues, is a ‘fundamental delusion’ that is central to the way we organize experience, making sense out of confusion, justice out of cruelty and unfairness, and orderliness out of random events. And it protects the legitimacy of the established order.
In a just world, innocent women are not raped. Women who are raped, therefore, must have ‘invited it’ — by being seductive, or perhaps by merely being.
Similarly, many vehement antiabortionists cannot accept the statistics of rape, incest, poverty, contraceptive ignorance, woman battering, preferring to believe that it is only immoral women who have abortions…women are not the only objects of rationalizing denigration. The poor bring their suffering on themselves…because they are lazy, conniving, drunk, and violent.”
– Carol Tavris, Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion
The Better Looking You Are, the More Likely You Are to Think Life Is Fair
Like any bias, some people are more prone to it than others. Today’s study looks at one potential factor and finds that people who are physically attractive are more likely to believe in a just world.
Or in other words, the better looking you are, the more likely you are to think that life is fair.
In addition, researchers also found that people who were more physically attractive had greater life satisfaction.
This post is part of an ongoing Poly Land feature called Psyched for the Weekend, in which I geek out with brief takes about some of my favorite psychological studies and concepts. For the entire series, please see this link.
Books by Page Turner: