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Time Frame and Justice Motive: Future Perspective Moderates the Adaptive Function of General Belief in a Just World
Published: Thursday, November 28, 2013
Author: Michael Shengtao Wu et al.

by Michael Shengtao Wu, Robbie M. Sutton, Xiaodan Yan, Chan Zhou, Yiwen Chen, Zhuohong Zhu, Buxin Han

Background

The human ability to envision the future, that is, to take a future perspective (FP), plays a key role in the justice motive and its function in transcending disadvantages and misfortunes. The present research investigated whether individual (Study 1) and situational (Study 2) differences in FP moderated the association of general belief in a just world (GBJW) with psychological resilience.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We investigated FP, GBJW, and resilience in sample of adolescents (n?=?223) and disaster survivors (n?=?218) in China. In Study 1, adolescents revealed stronger GBJW than PBJW, and GBJW uniquely predicted resilience in the daily lives of those with high FP (but not those with low FP). In Study 2, natural priming of FP (vs. no FP) facilitated the association of GBJW with resilience after disaster.

Conclusions/Significance

Supporting predictions, participants endorsed GBJW more strongly than PBJW. Further, GBJW interacted with FP in both studies, such that there was an association between GBJW and resilience at high but not low levels of FP. The results corroborate recent findings suggesting that GBJW may be more psychologically adaptive than PBJW among some populations. They also confirm that focusing on the future is an important aspect of the adaptive function of just-world beliefs.

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