The Social Psychology of Uncertainty Management and System Justification
This chapter reviews research findings on the social psychology of uncertainty management processes and the role these processes have in explaining system justification and other human reactions (such as people's behavioral reactions to homeless individuals and how people respond toward messages that violate or support their religious worldviews). The chapter holds that uncertainty management (at least occasionally) may better explain people's responses than does terror management theory. The chapter also focuses on the social psychological processes underlying uncertainty management effects and argues that personal uncertainty has strong effects on human reactions, because personal uncertainty involves affective-experiential processes and typically constitutes an alarming experience to people. The chapter suggests that the social psychology of uncertainty management and system justification involve processes of "hot cognition" and not "cold cognition." The chapter closes with a discussion of the implications for the psychology of system justification and people's beliefs in a just world.
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