ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (12): 2245-2255.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.02245

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Whether Lower Social Class Individuals are More Likely to Believe the Social System to be Justified

YANG Shenlong;GUO Yongyu;LI Jing   

  1. (School of Psychology, Central China Normal University; Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior, Ministry of Education, and Hubei Human Development and Mental Health Key Laboratory, Wuhan 430079, China)
  • Received:2013-06-13 Online:2013-12-15 Published:2013-12-15
  • Contact: GUO Yongyu


Social class is a context rooted in both the material substance of social life (income, education, occupation status) and the individual’s construal of his or her class rank. Academics hold different ideas on the question that how lower social class individuals consider the social system. The system justification theory points out lower-class individuals consider the social system as justified more often than the higher. The social dominance theory and the social cognitive perspective, however, hold that lower-class individuals are more likely to be dissatisfied with the social system compared to the higher-class. Both of these opposing views have been supported by relevant studies. Individual factors, social properties and the relationship between an individual and society may moderate this process. Moreover, several researches show that the relation between social class and system justification may be nonlinear. The future research can be based on nonlinear hypothesis, and should deeply explore this question in term of concept identification, theory integration and research methods.

Key words: social class, social system, social justification theory, social dominance theory, social class from a social cognitive perspective