How do we care about justice: Relationships among various justice related beliefs in Croatian adults  

Sulić P., Ćubela Adorić V., Tucak Junaković I.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia

Based on previous research and theorizing about why and how people care about justice, the current study aimed at exploring the relationships among several forms of self-reported justice concerns in an age heterogeneous group of Croatian adults. The participants completed self-report measures of the beliefs in the (un)justness of the world, justice centrality, sensitivity to injustice from three perspectives (victim, observer, and beneficiary), and of the attitudes toward justice at the societal level. As expected, the beliefs in a just and an unjust world correlated negatively. However, both beliefs were found to correlate positively with the importance attached to justice, as indicated by the justice centrality. Justice centrality was also positively related to justice sensitivity from all perspectives, whereas the beliefs in just and unjust world showed a somewhat different pattern of relationships with justice sensitivity variables. Along with the pattern of correlations between these variables and the evaluation of societal (un)fairness (which spread across several domains), these results provide support for the notion that a genuine concern and strive for justice is mostly reflected in the belief in the justness of the world as well as in the justice sensitivity from observer and beneficiary perspectives. The victim sensitivity and the belief in the unjustness of the world seem to reflect a more negative focus in evaluating the (un)fairness and a more self-focused rather than other-focused concern for justice. In general, the results suggest that the various forms of caring about (in)justice can be reliably assessed and differentiated in adults of various age using the measures that are being developed in the studies with younger (mostly student) participants.