System justification as conscious and nonconscious goal pursuit.

John T. Jost, Janina Pietrzak, Ido Liviatan, Anesu Mandisodza, Jaime L. Napier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In attempting to understand why acquiescence in the face of injustice is so prevalent and why social change is so rare and difficult to accomplish, system justification theory posits that -- to varying degrees, depending on both situational and dispositional factors -- people are motivated to defend, justify, and rationalize the status quo (e.g., Jost, Banaji, et al., 2004; Jost & Hunyady, 2002, 2005). In this chapter we focus on the motivational basis of system justification, the palliative function it serves, and the implications of the theory for the dynamics of social change. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of motivation science.
EditorsJames Y. Shah, Wendi L. Gardner
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherThe Guilford Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)1593855680, 9781593855680
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Conscious (Personality Factor)
  • Goals
  • Motivation
  • Social Change
  • Unconscious (Personality Factor)
  • Theories


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