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Making sense of victimisation and misfortune: A just-world theory perspective

Dr Annelie Harvey

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Wednesday, 14 November 2018,
17:00 to 18:00
Waterfront Building, Ipswich

Lerner’s (1980) belief in a just world theory posits that people are committed to believe that the world is a fair and just place, where everyone gets what they deserve. Although such a belief sounds unrealistic, it is essentially what drives people to delay gratification and work towards their deserved outcomes in life. Being confronted with instances of undeserved suffering and misfortune threaten this belief, and therefore, people react in a number of ways to make sense of victimisation and injustice. This talk will discuss some of these reactions to injustice, including the counter normative reactions of victim blame and derogation, utilising real world examples.

Dr Annelie Harvey


Annelie is a senior lecturer and Deputy Head of the School of Psychology and Sport Science at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU). Annelie joined ARU in 2015 following completion of her PhD at the University of Essex.

Annelie's research is inspired by the 'Belief in a Just World' theory, which posits that people have an inherent motivation to believe that the world is a fair and just place where everyone gets what they deserve. Annelie's work considers the different reactions people exhibit and how these reactions operate. For example, she has investigated the level of processing that reactions to victims operate at (Harvey, Callan & Matthews, 2014), how different types of justice reasoning are moderated by religiosity (Harvey and Callan, 2014) and more recently, if people are biased in perceiving just-world consistent information (Harvey et al., 2017).