The Just-World-Bias

Do you believe in a just world?

we believe in a Just WorldMost of us do.

Simply because we assume that bad things will befall bad people, and good things, to good people.

The bad news is that it doesn’t always play out that way and also that the world isn’t at all fair.

Still, research shows that a belief in a just world is good for one’s mental health and well-being.  And that’s the good news.

 

“It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.” — Jerry Seinfeld

 

2 Comments

  1. Hi Andy,

    Maybe the bad people is not as bad as you think or as the news present them to be? Vice versa for the good people.

    Perhaps ignore about others, we just have to remember if we are good, the good will befall us eventually, if not now, later, if not later, maybe the good will befall to people close to us eventually.

    This conviction of good befall good is very important I think! At least to me! 🙂

    • Hi Rolf,

      You got it. We all suffer from the attentional bias and are heavily influenced by the media. The vast minority of “bad people” do get way too much airtime and attention. It appears that only bad news is good news in the eyes of the media. Whose fault is it? Ours, because given the choice, we perceive negative news as being more important or profound. We also tend to give more credibility to bad news, perhaps because we’re suspicious (or bored) of proclamations to the contrary (= negativity bias).
      There is ample truth in this saying: “a spoonful of tar can ruin a barrel of honey but a spoonful of honey does nothing for a barrel of tar”.
      Like so many of our biases this “negativity bias” is another evolutionary adaptation — it’s better to mistake a rock for a bear than a bear for a rock.
      The good news is that crime, violence, war, and other injustices are actually steadily declining.
      The good will win over evil. And so it will be.

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