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R ESEARCH PAPER S ERIESFAIR MARKET IDEOLOGY: ITS COGNITIVE-MOTIVATIONAL UNDERPINNINGS

By John T. Jost, Sally Blount and Jeffrey PfefferGyorgy Hunyady, John T. Jost, Sally Blount and Jeffrey Pfeffer

Abstract

Loewenstein, and Michael Morris for helpful advice concerning the planning and implementation of empirical research described here. We are also grateful to Agnish Chakravarti, Kathie Koo, Tibor Palfai, Oliver Sheldon, and Jojanneke van der Toorn for assistance at various stages with data collection, entry, or analysis. Finally, we credit Rod Kramer and Barry Staw with improving the chapter by providing characteristically insightful and constructive feedback. 1 Public opinion research shows that most people espouse egalitarian ideals and acknowledge substantial income inequality in society, but they consistently perceive the economic system to be highly fair and legitimate. In an attempt to better understand this paradox by considering the cognitive and motivational bases of ideological support for the free market system, we draw on and integrate a number of social psychological theories suggesting that people want to believe that the systems and institutions that affect them are fair, legitimate, and justified. We have developed an instrument for measuring fair market ideology, and we have found in several samples that its endorsement is associated with self-deception, economic system justification, opposition to equality, power distance orientation, belief in a just world, politica

Year: 2003
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