The adaptive, approach-oriented correlates of belief in a just world for the self: A review of the research

Jonathan Bartholomaeus, Peter Strelan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past 50+ years researchers have dedicated considerable effort towards studying the belief in a just world (BJW). A significant development in the field was the introduction of the bidimensional model, which indicates differential outcomes for the belief in a just world for the self (BJW-self) when contrasted with the belief in a just world for others (BJW-general). Theorizing and research on BJW-general is well-established. However, the distinction between the two spheres, and specifically the unique characteristics and correlates of BJW-self, are not yet widely acknowledged by researchers. Therefore, we present a review of the BJW-self literature, in three parts. First, we outline the fundamental tenants of justice motive theory and the chronology of BJW-self research. Second, we discuss the notable relationships that have emerged from this literature, in particular the links between BJW-self and wellbeing, coping with negative life events, prosocial behaviours, and a positive future orientation. Finally, we suggest avenues for future research and theoretical advance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109485
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Dec 2019


  • BJW
  • BJW-self
  • Belief in a just world
  • Justice beliefs
  • PAdaptive outcomes
  • Personal BJW

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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