“Help those who need help.” This statement embodies a universal principle of altruism and human kindness. But how does it intersect with System Justification Theory, which posits that people tend to justify existing social systems even when they do not directly benefit from them? The answer lies in the intriguing relationship between altruistic values and System Justification Scores (SJS).
The data provide compelling insights. Among respondents who consider helping those in need “very important,” the average SJS score is 18.60. For those who consider it “important,” the score remains relatively high at 18.14. However, as we move toward respondents who consider it “unimportant” or “definitely unimportant,” we observe a gradual decline in SJS scores to 17.60 and 17.20. Respectively, those who prioritize helping others may also perceive the current system as a means to achieve this goal, leading to higher SJS scores. This raises profound questions about the coexistence of altruism and the maintenance of societal structures.
These findings invite us to explore the complex interplay between our moral values, our attitudes toward social systems, and the mechanisms by which we rationalize the status quo.
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