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Social and Psychological Bases of Ideology and System Justification$
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John T. Jost, Aaron C. Kay, and Hulda Thorisdottir

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195320916

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195320916.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 25 November 2015

The Social Psychology of Uncertainty Management and System Justification

(p.185) CHAPTER 8 The Social Psychology of Uncertainty Management and System Justification
Social and Psychological Bases of Ideology and System Justification

Kees van den Bos

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   belief in a just world, cognition, system justification, terror management theory, uncertainty management

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