Japanese Journal of Social Psychology
Online ISSN : 2189-1338
Print ISSN : 0916-1503
ISSN-L : 0916-1503
Effects of a belief in a just world on upstream reciprocity
Ryohei UmetaniAkira GotoIsamu OkadaHitoshi Yamamoto
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2020 Volume 36 Issue 2 Pages 31-38


Upstream reciprocity refers to a person who has received help helping a third person instead of the person who helped him/her. It is observed widely but lacks a theory explaining its mechanism. Theory suggests that upstream reciprocity cannot maintain stable cooperation. Here we examine the possibility that the strength of a belief in a just world, which is a cognitive bias, drives upstream reciprocity. We test the effects on upstream reciprocity of a belief in a just world by conducting an upstream reciprocity game based on a trust game. The results demonstrate that upstream reciprocity is explained by a belief in immanent justice, a subconcept of a belief in a just world. These results shed light on a mechanism that explains why upstream reciprocity is observed in the real world.

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© 2020 The Japanese Society of Social Psychology
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