Individual differences in system justification predict power and morality-related needs in advantaged and disadvantaged groups in response to group disparity
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AbstractGuided by the needs-based model, we explored how individual differences in system justification predict group members’ needs in response to information about group-based disparities. Across two studies (N = 819), we found that among disadvantaged-group members (LGBTIQ* individuals/women) system justification was negatively related to need for power. Among advantaged-group members ([cis-]heterosexuals/men), system justification was negatively related to motivation to restore their ingroup’s moral essence (i.e., moral shame and wish that the ingroup would act more morally) but positively related to motivation to restore their ingroup’s moral image (i.e., need for positive moral image and expectation that the outgroup should acknowledge the ingroup’s morality). These results theoretically extend the needs-based model by offering a more nuanced picture of morality-related needs. Further, they underline the importance of considering individual differences in system justification for understanding advantaged- and disadvantaged-group members’ responses to social inequality.