System Justification theory: a new perspective on the problem of inequality



This article outlines the concept of system justification proposed by J. Jost and M. Banaji. Motivational basis of system justification as well as the core assumption that low-status individuals tend to justify the existing system more than high-status individuals are described thoroughly. The factors that enhance system justification motivation as well as the relations between system justification and behavioral patterns that preserve social inequality are described in specific paragraphs.

General Information

Keywords: system justification, social identity, outgroup favoritism, social dominance, inequality.

Journal rubric: Social Psychology

Article type: review article


Funding. The study was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Science Foundation, project № 20-18-00142.

Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful for worthy comments on an early version of the text Romanova M.O, Bogatyreva N.I., Ankushev V.V., Terskova M.A.

For citation: Agadullina E.R., Ivanov A.A., Sarieva I.R., Prusova I.S. System Justification theory: a new perspective on the problem of inequality [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2021. Vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 132–141. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2021100113. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Elena R. Agadullina, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, School of Psychology, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Aleksandr A. Ivanov, Bachelor of psychology, Research assistant, School of Psychology, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Irena R. Sarieva, Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology of Faculty of Social Sciences, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Irina S. Prusova, PhD in Psychology, Head of Laboratory for Psychology of Social Inequality, HSE University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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