Date of Award

Summer 2018

Document Type

Thesis Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chairperson

Jasmin Tahmaseb McConatha, PhD

Committee Member

V. Krishna Kumar, PhD

Committee Member

Frauke Schnell, PhD


Well-being has been connected to the locality, community, and culture that one resides in. This study explores the belief in impartiality as a world standard, and how it relates to life satisfaction. The “Just World Hypothesis” is predicated on the idea that the world works as a place where people get what they merit, an idea that often serves as a means for people to rationalize injustices (Lerner, 1980). In recent years the literature around just world beliefs has expanded into a four-factor individual differences model that categorizes just world beliefs for self and others into subcategories of distributive and procedural justice. Distributive justice involves evaluations of the fairness of outcomes, allocations, or distribution of resources while procedural concerns evaluations of the fairness of decision processes, rules, or interpersonal treatment (Lucas et al., 2011). The primary hypothesis for the present study states that the four just world beliefs subscales would correlate positively with satisfaction with life. Life satisfaction is defined as the measure in which people evaluate their lives and how they feel about their direction and options for the future (Anand, 2016). Secondarily, the study used a multiple analysis of variance to determine how demographics such as white/non-white racial identity, age, sex, religion, and social class were related to just world beliefs and life satisfaction. Overall the study found a significant correlation between life satisfaction and just world beliefs across all subcategories, confirming the primary hypothesis, while the demographic factors differed in significance among the subcategories and life satisfaction.