Physical shortness lessens victim-blaming: The mediating role of belief in a just world

  • Bao-yu Bai
  • Xiao-xiao LiuEmail author
  • Mark Khei


We live in a society where body height matters. Previous research has explored how body height influences individuals’ perception of others, of themselves, and of the surrounding world. Evidence has shown that physical shortness is associated with various disadvantages and a lower level of personal belief in a just world (BJW-self). We hypothesize that an individual’s physical height will predict his or her inclination to blame innocent victims, mediated by BJW-self. We conducted a study among 346 college students in China to test our hypothesis. Indeed, we found that, compared to shorter people, taller people were more likely to blame innocent victims, and this effect was mediated by BJW-self. Females are more sensitive to this mediating effect. Implications for future research on physical shortness and BJW were discussed.


Belief in a just world Body height China Victim-blaming 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, School of PhilosophyWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.School of ManagementXiamen UniversityXiamen CityPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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