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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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Disentangling Reasons and Rationalizations: Exploring Perceived Fairness in Hypothetical Societies

(p.126) CHAPTER 6 Disentangling Reasons and Rationalizations: Exploring Perceived Fairness in Hypothetical Societies
Social and Psychological Bases of Ideology and System Justification

Gregory Mitchell

Philip E. Tetlock (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Political psychologists often treat explicit explanations for political views as rationalizations rather than reasons, and favor unconscious motives and cognitive processes as the key determinants of political ideology. This chapter argues that "transparent motive" theories are often dismissed too quickly in favor of "subterranean motive" theories. The chapter is devoted to finding common methodological ground for clarifying, testing, and circumscribing the claims of both the transparent-motivational theorists and the subterranean-motivational theorists, by posing a series of empirical questions designed to explore predictions that might provide evidence that justifications are not mere by-products of the functional imperative to defend the status quo, but rather functionally autonomous constellations of ideas capable of independently influencing policy.

Keywords:   fairness, hypothetical societies, ideologies, rationalization, subterranean motive, transparent motive

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