Belief in a Just World and Right-Wing Authoritarianism as Moderators of Perceived Risk

  • Alan J. Lambert
  • Thomas Burroughs
  • Alison L. Chasteen
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)


We live in a world filled with risk. Nearly every day, we face the prospect of many different types of threats ranging from relatively common, everyday risks (e.g., of losing one’s wallet) to the most serious personal calamities (e.g., getting hit by a car, dying of AIDS). From a psychological standpoint, understanding how people form subjective estimates of risk, and the factors that influence such perceptions, is of critical importance. In particular, it seems likely that one’s subjective sense of well-being may depend on whether one feels personally vulnerable to these threats or not. Thus, understanding when and why people feel vulnerable to life’s many risks should offer more general insights into the factors mediating mental health. Perceptions of risk also seem likely to play a role in mediating many sorts of decisions and behaviors (cf. Johnson & Tversky, 1983, for a related discussion). For example, such simple acts as driving a car probably involve the implicit or explicit assessment of different sorts of risks (e.g., the probability of getting in an accident) and these perceptions may strongly determine many of the choices we make (e.g., how fast to drive on a stormy night).


Dispositional Optimism Personality Construct World Belief Unrealistic Optimism Right Wing Authoritarianism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan J. Lambert
    • 1
  • Thomas Burroughs
    • 1
  • Alison L. Chasteen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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