The Belief in a Just World and Willingness to Accommodate among Married and Dating Couples

  • Isaac M. Lipkus
  • Victor Bissonnette
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)


Since the mid 1960s, the effects of individual differences in one’s Belief in a Just World (BJW; Lerner, 1980; Lerner and Miller, 1978; Rubin and Peplau, 1975) has been applied to various domains. One area that seems particularly promising is the understanding of how the BJW might be related to a number of important indicators of relationship functioning and well-being. In this chapter, we will review some preliminary findings that have been obtained from samples of married and dating couples relating the BJW to one style of handling interpersonal conflict, willingness to accommodate.


Married Couple Relationship Partner Experimental Social Psychology Partner Effect World Scale 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baron, R.M., and Kenny, D.A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173–1182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bierhoff, H.W., Klein, R., and Kramp, P. (1991). Evidence for the altruistic personality from data on accident research. Journal of Personality, 59, 263–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Billings, A. (1979). Conflict resolution in distressed and nondistressed married couples. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 47, 368–376.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boon, S.D. (1994). Dispelling doubt and uncertainty: Trust in Romanic relationships. In S. Duck (Ed). Dynamics of relationships, Vol. 4,.(pp. 86–111 ).Google Scholar
  5. Boon, S.D., and Holmes, J.G. (1991). The dynamics of interpersonal trust: resolving uncertainty in the face of risk. In R.A. Hinde and J. Groebel (Eds.), Cooperation and prosocial behavior (pp. 190–211 ). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Dalbert, C. (1992, July). Belief in a just world as a source of subjective well-being. Paper presented at the 25th International Congress of Psychology, Brussels, Belgium.Google Scholar
  7. Davis, M. (1983). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 113–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gottman, J.M. (1994). What predicts divorce? The relationship between marital processes and marital outcomes. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  9. Gottman, J.M., and Levenson, R. (1992). Marital processes predictive of later dissolution: Behavior, physiology, and health. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 221–233.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gottman, J.M., Markman, H.J., and Notarius, C.I. (1977). The topography of marital conflict: A sequential analysis of verbal and nonverbal behavior. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 39, 461–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gouldner, A. (1960). The norm of reciprocity: A preliminary statement. American Sociological Review, 25, 161–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Holmes, J.G. (1991). Trust and the appraisal process in close relationships. In W.G. Holmes, and D. Perlman (Eds.), Advances in personal relationships, Vol. 2, (pp. 57–104 ). London: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
  13. Kelley, H., and Thibaut, J., (1978). Interpersonal relations: A theory of interdependence, New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  14. Kenny, D.A. (1996). Models of interdependence in dyadic research. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 13, 279–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lerner, M.J. (1980). The belief in a just world: A fundamental delusion. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  16. Lerner, M.J., and Miller, D.T. (1978). Just world research and the attribution process: Looking back and looking ahead. Psychological Bulletin, 85, 1030–1051.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lerner, M.J., Miller, D.T., and Holmes, J.G. (1976). Deservingness and the emergence of norms of justice. In L. Berkowitz and E. Walster (Eds.), Advances in experimental social psychology, Vol. 9, (pp. 134–162 ). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  18. Lipkus, I.M. (1991). The construction and preliminary validation of a global belief in a just world scale and the exploratory analysis of the multidimensional belief in a just world scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 12, 1171–1178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lipkus, I.M. and Bissonnette (1996). Relationships among the belief in a just world, willingness to accommodate, and marital well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 22, 1943–1956.Google Scholar
  20. Lipkus, I.M., Dalbert, C., and Siegler, I.C. (1996). The importance of distinguishing the belief in a just world for self versus for others: Implications for psychological well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 666–677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Margolin, G., and Wampold, B. (1981). Sequential analyses of conflict and accored in distressed and nondistressed marital partners. Journal of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, 49, 554–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Miller, D.T. (1977). Altruism and threat to the belief in a just world. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 13, 113–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pruit, D.G., and Carnevale, P.J. (1994). Negotiation in social conflict. Pacific Grove, Calif: Brooks Cole.Google Scholar
  24. Rempel, J.K., Holmes, J.G., and Zanna, M.P. (1985). Trust in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49, 95–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ritter, C. Benson, D.E., and Snyder, C. (1990). Belief in a just world and depression. Sociological Perspectives, 33, 235–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rubin, Z., and Peplau, A. (1975). Who believes in a just world? Journal of Social Issues, 13, 65–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rusbult, C.E., Bissonnette, V.L., Arriaga, X.B., and Cox, C.L. (1995). Accommodation processes during the early years of marriage. Manuscript in preparation.Google Scholar
  28. Rusbult, C.E., Johnson, D., and Morrow, G. (1986). Impact of couple patterns of problem-solving on distress in dating relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 744–753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rusbult, C.E., and Verette, J. (1991). An interdependence analysis of accommodation processes in close relationships. Representative Research in Social Psychology, 19, 3–33.Google Scholar
  30. Rusbult, C.E., Verette, J., Whitney, G.A., Slovik, L.F., and Lipkus, I. (1991). Accommodation processes in close relationships: Theory and preliminary empirical evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 53–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rusbult, C.E., Zembrodt, I., and Gunn, L. (1982). Exit, Voice, Loyalty, and Neglect: Responses to dissatisfaction in romantic involvements. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 1230–1242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wieselquist, J., Rusbult, C.E., Agnew, C.R., and Foster, C. (1994). Trust and commitment in marital relationships. Unpublished manuscript, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Google Scholar
  33. Yovetich, N.A., and Rusbult, C.E., (1994). Accommodative behavior on close relationships: Exploring transformation of motivation: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 30, 138–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zuckerman, M. (1975). Belief in a just world and altruistic behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 972–976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zuckerman, M., and Gerbasi, K.C. (1977). Belief in a just world and trust. Journal of Research in Personality, 11, 306–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isaac M. Lipkus
    • 1
  • Victor Bissonnette
    • 2
  1. 1.Duke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Southeastern Louisiana UniversityHammondUSA

Personalised recommendations