- The society-supporting self: system justification and cultural worldview defense as different forms of self-regulation
- Group Processes & Intergroup Relations
- Volume | Issue number
- 13 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Justifying social systems and defending cultural worldviews may seem to resemble the same human need to protect what is known and predictable. The current paper would like to argue that these society-supporting tendencies concern two different forms of self-regulation: the need for control and the need for meaning. Results show higher levels of system justification when participants were lacking control than when they had to think about death or about a control topic. Simultaneously, participants showed stronger worldview defense reactions when they thought about their own death, compared to those experiencing low control. This suggests that system justification may be used to compensate a loss of personal control, while cultural worldviews protect the person from existential anxiety.
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