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Title:The psychological impact of perceiving the gender status quo as legitimate
Author(s):Spielmann, Julia
Advisor(s):Stern, Chadly
Contributor(s):Cheng, Joey
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):gender system justification
life satisfaction
Abstract:Can people benefit psychologically from thinking that the status quo is legitimate? Across three samples, we examined whether and why viewing current relations among men and women as legitimate provides people with a psychological boost. In all samples, we found that believing that current relations among men and women are fair and just (e.g., thinking that society is set up that men and women usually get what they deserve) was associated with greater life satisfaction and self-esteem. We found that perceiving oneself as less likely to be discriminated against in overt ways (e.g., being denied a job for unfair reasons) and subtle ways (e.g., being avoided in interactions) partially explained these relationships. Importantly, we found that these associations did not differ between men and women. Overall, these findings suggest that belief systems supporting the status quo can provide a palliative psychological effect through impacting people’s beliefs about whether they are targets of discrimination, and that this can occur for members of both advantaged and disadvantaged groups. These findings further contribute to understanding why people might support the status quo and denounce diversity in different settings even if it disadvantages them.
Issue Date:2018-04-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Julia Spielmann
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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