Department of Psychology
We study a number of different topics within the social psychology of justice. One of our primary interests is the concept of a belief in a just world, or a belief that people get what they deserve in this world. We are interested in why people are motivated to hold such a belief, as well as the ways in which the belief in a just world is maintained in the face of evidence of injustice.
Currently, we are investigating the notion that people might possess an implicit belief in a just world (as well as other implicit world assumptions) even if they do not explicitly endorse the belief.
We are also interested in the broader role that deservingness plays in human psychology. For example, we are investigating the difference between deservingness and related concepts, such as justice and fairness.
We are also looking at the role deservingness plays in such diverse domains as marketing and human rights. Aside from studying why and how people care about justice and deservingness, we have investigated when people care about such matters.
For example, we argue that many of the behaviours perceived as outside the realm of justice are, in fact, motivated by a need to see justice done, as well as challenging the notion of a straightforward linear relation between how much one identifies with another being and the degree to which one is motivated to treat the other justly.