How Belief in a Just World Benefits Mental Health : The Effects of Optimism and Gratitude

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

15 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-423
Journal / PublicationSocial Indicators Research
Issue number1
Online published25 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


Past research suggests that individuals’ belief in a just world (BJW) is closely connected with their mental health. To clarify the underlying mechanism, the current study proposes that BJW encourages optimism and gratitude which then mediates the relationship between BJW and mental health as indicated by subjective well-being (SWB) and depression. A sample of 1,200 undergraduates yields results indicating that (a) BJW influences optimism, gratitude, SWB, and depression after controlling for gender, age, income, and personality; (b) optimism and gratitude mediate BJW effects by increasing SWB and decreasing depression. The issues of BJW’s adaptive functions are discussed.

Research Area(s)

  • Belief in a just world, Depression, Gratitude, Optimism, Subjective well-being

Bibliographic Note

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