Three experiments tested two competing hypotheses about the legitimacy of social systems among disadvantaged groups. The first hypothesis was derived from social identity theory, and assumes that perceived legitimacy is positively linked to group interest. The second hypothesis was drawn from system justification theory and states that perceived legitimacy is negatively linked to group interests. In Studies 1 (79 nursing students) and 2 (49 psychology students) participants believed that their in-group had either intermediate status (i.e., a disadvantaged group who might experience some advantages from the hierarchy) or low status in the hierarchy. They rated the legitimacy of general, national health, and intergroup hierarchy systems. Study 3 considered in-group threat, and involved 101 nursing students. The results indicate that perceived legitimacy was generally higher in the intermediate-status condition than in the low-status condition. In-group threat was higher in the low-status condition, and partially mediated the effect of status on system justification. This paper contributes to knowledge about the mechanisms of legitimization of social hierarchies and social systems and suggests that disadvantaged groups are more likely to justify the social hierarchy if they derive some advantages from it. One way in which disadvantaged groups may derive social advantages from the hierarchy is by performing positive downward social comparisons, for example, an intermediate group comparing itself with a group lower in the hierarchy. It is argued that system justification may be used as an identity management strategy to avoid social identity threat.

Contrasting explanations for status-legitimacy effects based on system justification theory and social identity theory / Caricati, Luca; Sollami, Alfonso. - In: JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 2475-0387. - 2:1(2018), pp. 13-25. [10.1002/jts5.15]

Contrasting explanations for status-legitimacy effects based on system justification theory and social identity theory

Caricati, Luca
;
Sollami, Alfonso
2018

Abstract

Three experiments tested two competing hypotheses about the legitimacy of social systems among disadvantaged groups. The first hypothesis was derived from social identity theory, and assumes that perceived legitimacy is positively linked to group interest. The second hypothesis was drawn from system justification theory and states that perceived legitimacy is negatively linked to group interests. In Studies 1 (79 nursing students) and 2 (49 psychology students) participants believed that their in-group had either intermediate status (i.e., a disadvantaged group who might experience some advantages from the hierarchy) or low status in the hierarchy. They rated the legitimacy of general, national health, and intergroup hierarchy systems. Study 3 considered in-group threat, and involved 101 nursing students. The results indicate that perceived legitimacy was generally higher in the intermediate-status condition than in the low-status condition. In-group threat was higher in the low-status condition, and partially mediated the effect of status on system justification. This paper contributes to knowledge about the mechanisms of legitimization of social hierarchies and social systems and suggests that disadvantaged groups are more likely to justify the social hierarchy if they derive some advantages from it. One way in which disadvantaged groups may derive social advantages from the hierarchy is by performing positive downward social comparisons, for example, an intermediate group comparing itself with a group lower in the hierarchy. It is argued that system justification may be used as an identity management strategy to avoid social identity threat.
Contrasting explanations for status-legitimacy effects based on system justification theory and social identity theory / Caricati, Luca; Sollami, Alfonso. - In: JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 2475-0387. - 2:1(2018), pp. 13-25. [10.1002/jts5.15]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11381/2837651
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