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Hypothesis in a research paper

Many philosophers and social theorists have observed and considered the phenomenon of belief in a just world, going back to at least as early as the Pyrrhonist hypothesis in a research paper Sextus Empiricus writing around 180 CE who argued against this belief.

Lerner was prompted to study justice beliefs and the just-world hypothesis in the context of a psychological inquiry into negative social and societal interactions. During his clinical training as a psychologist, he observed treatment of mentally ill persons by the health care practitioners with whom he worked. Although he knew them to be kindhearted, educated paper, they often blamed patients for research patients’ own suffering. In the first of these experiments conducted at the University of Kansas, 72 female in were made to watch a confederate receiving electrical shocks under a variety of conditions. To explain these studies’ findings, Lerner theorized that there was a hypothesis belief in a just world.

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A just world is one in which actions and conditions have predictable, appropriate consequences. These actions and conditions are typically individuals’ behaviors or attributes. The specific conditions that correspond to certain consequences are socially determined by a society’s norms and ideologies. Lerner hypothesized that the belief in a just world is crucially important for people to maintain for their own well-being. But people are confronted daily with evidence that the world is not just: people suffer without apparent cause.

Lerner explained that people use strategies to eliminate threats to their belief in a just world. These strategies can be rational or irrational. There are a few modes of reinterpretation that could make an event fit the belief in a just world. In the case of observing the injustice of the suffering of innocent people, one major way to rearrange the cognition of an event is to interpret the victim of suffering as deserving.

An additional effect of this thinking is that individuals experience less personal vulnerability because they do not believe they have done anything to deserve or cause negative outcomes. This is related to the self-serving bias observed by social psychologists. Many researchers have interpreted just-world beliefs as an example of causal attribution. In victim blaming, the causes of victimization are attributed to an individual rather than to a situation.

Thus, the consequences of belief in a just world may be related to or explained in terms of particular patterns of causal attribution. Others have suggested alternative explanations for the derogation of victims. One suggestion is that derogation effects are based on accurate judgments of a victim’s character. Alternatively, victim derogation and other strategies may only be ways to alleviate discomfort after viewing suffering.

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