Social worldviews and social attitudes: Examining the psychological correlates for other-concern
Tosin Tunrayo Olonisakin
North West University, South Africa
Sulaiman Olanrewaju Adebayo
Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
Erhabor Sunday Idemudia
North-West University , South Africa
Download Full-Text (PDF)


social attitudes
just-world belief
affirmative action
social dominance orientation

How to Cite

Olonisakin, T., Adebayo, S., & Idemudia, E. (2021). Social worldviews and social attitudes: Examining the psychological correlates for other-concern. Journal of Culture and Values in Education, 4(2), 65-83.


Social inequality or inequity is existent in every society. As such, most societies dedicate efforts to ensuring fairness and justice for all its members. The university environment constitutes a miniature society on its own and everyday broader realities of the larger society are equally applicable within the university.  The attitude that students hold with regards to social inequality could be a function of their worldviews which act as guiding principles for social conduct. In this study, the worldviews of self-transcendence and just-world beliefs were examined in relation to support for affirmative action and social dominance orientation among students. The study employed a survey approach with data collected through questionnaires from a sample of 331 (62.8% female) undergraduate students in a public university. The authors hypothesized that self-transcendence and just-world beliefs would be positively associated with support for affirmative action and negatively with social dominance orientation. Result of data analysis using structural equation modelling confirmed the hypotheses in this study. However, the relationship between just-world beliefs and social dominance orientation was not significant. Results were discussed for their implications for acceptance of social policies that try to bridge the gap between dominant and marginalised groups. The implication of findings for understanding and managing interaction between groups in an educational setting were emphasised. Recommendations were made regarding how policy makers can use knowledge of worldviews held by student in designing strategies geared towards acceptance of policies targeted at ensuring positive outcomes for members of disadvantaged groups. Suggestions for future research were given.

Download Full-Text (PDF)


Aerts, D., Apostel, L., De Moor, B., Hellemans, S., Maex, E., Van Belle, H., & Van der Veken, J. (2007). Worldviews from fragmentation to integration.

Akhtari, M., Bau, N., & Laliberté, J. P. (2020). Affirmative action and pre-college human capital. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 27779 September 2020 JEL No. I21, I24, J15, J24, J48.

Alkozei, A., Smith, R., & Killgore, W. D. (2018). Gratitude and subjective wellbeing: a proposal of two causal frameworks. Journal of Happiness Studies, 19, 1519-1542.

Andre, C. & Velasquez, M. (2015, November 3). The just world theory. Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

Ardenghi, S., Rampoldi, G., Bani, M. & & Strepparava, M. G. (2021). Personal values as early predictors of emotional and cognitive empathy among medical students. Current Psycholology. Advance online publication.

Ashanti, E. (2008). Social dominance orientation and reactions to affirmative action policies and beneficiaries: A test of the mediating effects of perceptions of race-based inequities and attitudes toward diversity [Doctoral dissertation, Clemson University]. Clemson University,

Bai, J. (2016). Perceived support as a predictor of acculturative stress among international students in the United States. Journal of International Students, 6(1), 93-106.

Bandyopadhyay, S. & Green, E. (2018). Explaining inter-ethnic and inter-religious marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa CGR Working Paper 90. Centre for Globalisation Research School of Business and Management, University of London.

Barrett, R. (2021). Understanding values, beliefs and worldviews and how they relate to consciousness. Barrett Academy.

Bègue, L. & Charmoillaux, M. & Cochet, J. & Cury, C. & Suremain, F. (2008). Altruistic behavior and the bidimensional just world belief. The American Journal of Psychology, 121(1), 47-56.

Bierhoff, H. (2002). Just world, social responsibility, and helping behavior. In M. Ross & D. Miller (Eds.), The justice motive in everyday life (pp. 189-203). Cambridge University Press.

Bizer, G. Y. & Hart, J. B. & Jekogian, A. M. (2012). Belief in a just world and social dominance orientation: evidence for a mediational pathway predicting negative attitudes and discrimination against individuals with mental illness. Personality and Individual Differences 52, 428-432.

Buchner, A., Erdfelder, E, Faul, F & Lang, A. G. (2019). G*Power

Cangur, S. & Ercan, I. (2015). Comparison of model fit indices used in structural equation modeling under multivariate normality. Journal of Modern Applied Statistical Methods, 14(1), 152-167.

Caplan, N. A. & Stevens, S. G. (2017). Step out of the cycle: Needs, challenges, and successes of international undergraduates at a US university. English for Specific Purposes, 46, 15-28.

Cheng, Y., Nudelman, G., Otto, K. & Ma, J. (2020). Belief in a just world and employee voice behavior: The mediating roles of perceived efficacy and risk. The Journal of Psychology, 154(2), 129-143.

Crosby, F. J., Iyer, A. & Sincharoen, S. (2006). Understanding affirmative action. Annual Review of Psychology 57, 585-611.

De Caroli, M. E. & Sagone, E. (2014). Belief in a just world, prosocial behavior, and moral disengagement in adolescence. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 116, 596-600.

Dhakal, R. (2017). Education and health impacts of an affirmative action policy on minorities in India. [Dissertations, University of South Florida].

Dzansi, D. Y. & Mogashoa, L. (2013). International students in the classroom: A South African evidence of impact on lecturer and domestic student classroom practices and classroom effectiveness. Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology, 4(3), 227-237.

FeldmanHall, O., Son, J., & Heffner, J. (2018). Norms and the flexibility of moral action. Personality Neuroscience, 1: e15, 1–14.

Flanagan, R. (2020).Worldviews: Overarching concept, discrete body of knowledge or paradigmatic tool?. Journal of Religious Education 68, 331-344.

Glaser, J. (2005). Intergroup bias and inequity: Legitimizing beliefs and policy attitudes. Social Justice Research, 18(3).

Hafer, C. L. J. (2000). Do innocent victims threaten the belief in a just world? Evidence from a modified Stroop task. Personality and Social Psychology, 79(2), 165-73.

Harding, W. G., McConatha, J. T. & Kumar, V. K. (2020). The relationship between just world beliefs and life satisfaction. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, 6410.

Ho, A. K., Sidanius, J., Kteily, N., Sheehy-Skeffington, J, Pratto, F., Henkel, K. E., Foels, R., & Stewart, A. L. (2017). The nature of social dominance orientation: Theorizing and measuring preferences for intergroup inequality using the new SDO7 scale. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109(6), 1003-1028.

Hu, L. & Bentler, P. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6(1), 1-55.

Jost, J. T. & Hunyady, O. (2005). Antecedents and consequences of system-justifying ideologies. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(5), 260-265.

Kim, H. (2013). Statistical notes for clinical researchers: assessing normal distribution (2) using skewness and kurtosis. Restorative Dentistry and Endodontics, 38(1), 52-54.

Kleppestø, T. H., Czajkowski, N. O., Vassend, O., Røysamb, E., Eftedal, N. H., Sheehy-Skeffington, J., Kunst, J. R., & Thomsen, L. (2019). Correlations between social dominance orientation and political attitudes reflect common genetic underpinning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(36), 17741-17746.

Kline, R. B. (2005). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. The Guilford Press.

Kline, R. B. (2011). Principles and practices of structural equation modelling (3rd ed.). The Guilford Press.

Koea, J, Rahiri, J. L., & Ronald, M. (2021). Affirmative action programmes in postgraduate medical and surgical training- A narrative review. Medical Education, 55, 314- 321.

KPMG. (2016). Assessing the impact of Right to Education Act.

Landström S., Strömwall L. A., & Alfredsson H. (2015). Blame attributions in sexual crimes: Effects of belief in a just world and victim behavior. Nordic Psycholology, 68, 2-11.

Lau, W. W. F., Hui, C. H., Lam, J., Lau, E. Y. Y., Ng, D. & Cheung, S. (2015). Psychometric evaluation of the spiritual transcendence scale in a Chinese sample: Is there factorial invariance across gender, occupation, and religion? The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 26, 136-51.

Lerner, M. J. (1980). The belief in a just world: A fundamental delusion. Springer, 9-30.

Łowicki, P., Zajenkowski, M., & Cappellen, P. V. (2020). It's the heart that matters: The relationships among cognitive mentalizing ability, emotional empathy, and religiosity. Personality and Individual Differences, 161, 109976.

Lucas, T. (2009). Justifying outcomes versus processes: Procedural and distributive justice beliefs as predictors of positive and negative affectivity. Current Psychology, 28(4), 249-265.

Lucas, T., Alexander, S., Firestone, I. J., & LeBreton, J. M. (2007). Development and initial validation of a procedural and distributive just world measure. Personality and Individual Differences, 43(1), 71-82.

Lucas, T., Zhdanova, L. & Alexander, S. (2011). Procedural and distributive justice beliefs for self and others assessment of a four-factor individual differences model. Journal of Individual Differences, 32(1), 14-25.

Mahsa, M. (2020). Comparison of acculturation and social support among the depressed and nondepressed international students [Master’s thesis, Near East University].

McCullough, M. E., Kilpatrick, S. D., Emmons, R. A., & Larson, D. B. (2001). Is gratitude a moral affect? Psychological Bulletin, 127(2), 249-266.

Mebane, M. E., Aiello, A., & Francescato, D. (2020). Political gender gap and social dominance orientation. Politics and Elections, 1-15.

Melamed, D., Simpson, B., & Abernathy, J. (2020). The robustness of reciprocity: Experimental evidence that each form of reciprocity is robust to the presence of other forms of reciprocity. Science Advances, 6(23), eaba0504.

Molleman, L., van den Broek, E. & Egas, M. (2013). Personal experience and reputation interact in human decisions to help reciprocally. Proceedings Biological Sciences, 280(1757), 20123044.

Morgenroth, T. & Ryan, M. (2018). Quotas and affirmative action: Understanding group-based outcomes and attitudes. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 3, e12374.

Nilsson, A., & Jost, J. T. (2020). Rediscovering Tomkins’ polarity theory: Humanism, normativism, and the psychological basis of left-right ideological conflict in the U.S. and Sweden. PLoS ONE 15(7), e0236627.

Olonisakin, T. T. (2019). Motivated cognitions, xenophobia and ethnocentrism: The moderating roles of cultural intelligence ad group status [Doctoral dissertation, Ekiti State University].

Olonisakin, T. T. & Adebayo, S. O. (2021). Xenophobia: Scale development and validation. Journal of Contemporary African Studies. Advance online publication.

Oriol, X., Unanue, J., Miranda, R., Amutio, A. & Bazán, C. (2020). Self-transcendent aspirations and life satisfaction: The moderated mediation role of gratitude considering conditional effects of affective and cognitive empathy. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 2105.

Pantaléon, N., Chataigné, C., Bonardi, C. & Long, T. (2019). Human values priorities: Effects of self-centredness and age. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 40(2), 172-186.

Piedmont, R. L. (1999). Does Spirituality Represent the Sixth Factor of Personality? Spiritual Transcendence and the Five-Factor Model. Journal of Personality, 67(6), 985-1013. https://

Piedmont, R. L. (2010). Assessment of spirituality and religious sentiments, technical manual (2nd ed.). Timonium.

Piedmont, R. L. (2012). Overview and development of measure of numinous constructs: The assessment of spirituality and religious sentiments (ASPIRES) scale. In L. J. Miller (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of psychology and spirituality (pp. 104-122). Oxford University Press.

Piff, P. K., Dietze, P., Feinberg, M., Stancato, D. M., & Keltner, D. (2015). Sublime sociality: How awe promotes prosocial behavior through the small self. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108(6), 883-899.

Piotrowski, J. P., Żemojtel-Piotrowska, M. A., Piedmont, R., Baran, T., & Skrzypińska, K. (2019). The assessment of spirituality and religious sentiments (ASPIRES) scale: Examining a spiritual transcendence nomological net in Polish context. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 13(1), 36-45.

Pratto, F., Sidanius, J. & Levin, S. (2006). Social dominance theory and the dynamics of intergroup relations: Taking stock and looking forward. European Review of Social Psychology, 17, 271-320.

Pratto, F., Sidanius, J., Stallworth, L. M. & Malle, B. F. (1994). Social dominance orientation: A personality variable predicting social and political attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67(4), 741-763.

Ratshilaya, A. J. (2017). Exploring the social and academic experiences of international students in South African Universities.

Scacco, A. & Warren, S. S. (2018). Can social contact reduce prejudice and discrimination? Evidence from a field experiment in Nigeria. American Political Science Review, 112(3), 654-677.

Schwartz, S. H., & Rubel, T. (2005). Sex differences in value priorities: Cross-cultural and multimethod studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89(6), 1010-1028.

Simkin, H., & Piedmont, R. L. (2018). Adaptation and validation of the assessment of spirituality and religious sentiments (ASPIRES) scale short form into Spanish. Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología Positiva, 4, 97–107.

Simpson, B., Harrell, A., Melamed, D., Heiserman, N., Negraia, D. V. (2018). The roots of reciprocity: Gratitude and reputation in generalized exchange systems. American Sociological Review, 83(1), 88-110.

Stellar, J. E., Gordon, A. M., Piff, P. K., Cordaro, D., Anderson, C. L., Bai, Y., Maruskin, L. A. & Keltner, D. (2017). Self-transcendent emotions and their social functions: Compassion, gratitude, and awe bind us to others through prosociality. Emotion Review, 9(3), 200-207.

Stevens, J. R. & Duque, J. F. (2016). Psychology of reciprocal altruism. In T. K. Shackelford & V. A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of evolutionary psychological science. Springer.

Stroebe, K., Postmes, T., Täuber, S., Stegeman, A., & John, M. (2015). Belief in a just what? Demystifying just world beliefs by distinguishing sources of justice. PLoS One, 10(3), e0120145.

Sugiura, M., Nouchi, R., Honda, A., Sato, S., Abe, T., & Imamura, F. (2020). Survival-oriented personality factors are associated with various types of social support in an emergency disaster situation. PLoS One 15(2), e0228875.

Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (1996). Using multivariate statistics (3rd ed.). HarperCollins.

Verkuyten, M, Yogeeswaran, K, Adelman, L. (2019). Toleration and prejudice‐reduction: Two ways of improving intergroup relations. European Journal of Social Psychology, 50, 239- 255.

Wakslak, C., Jost, J. T., Tyler, T. R., & Chen, E. (2007). Moral outrage mediates the dampening effect of system justification on support for redistributive social policies. Psychological Science, 18(3), 267-274.

Werner, M. (2003). Identification of multivariate outliers in large data sets [Doctoral dissertation, University of Colorado ].

Yaden, D. B., Haidt, J., Hood, R. W., Vago, D. R., & Newberg, A. B. (2017). The varieties of self-transcendent experience. Review of General Psychology, 21(2), 143-160.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (  


Download data is not yet available.