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This is one of a series of excerpts from older articles put online by John Ray as a public service. The articles concerned are in general otherwise available only by special request to a University or other major library.

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Journal of Research in Personality, 1977(Sep), Vol. 11 (3), 306-317.

Belief in a just world and trust



Miron Zuckerman & Kathleen Gerbasi

University of Rochester

Conducted 3 experiments to examine the relationship between belief in a just world and level of trust. A total of 372 undergraduates served as Ss. All Ss were administered the Just World Scale; Ss in Exps I and II were administered Rotter's Internal-External Locus of Control Scale (I-E Scale) and Ss in Exp III were administered a public opinion scale. Results show that Ss with a high level of belief in a just world were (a) less suspicious with regard to deception in a social-psychological experiment, (b) less suspicious with regard to the promise of a free gift, and (c) less suspicious with regard to the government's position on several public issues. The same studies also examined the relationships among belief in internal-external control, authoritarianism and level of trust. In some but not all cases, belief in internal control and high level of authoritarianism were related to more trusting attitudes. It is suggested that the relationship between internality (as measured by the I-E Scale) and trust was mediated by the construct of belief in a just world.





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