- just world hypothesis
- distributive and procedural justice
- social action
- scope of justice
My primary research area is the social
psychology of justice. I am particularly
interested in the concept of the need to belive in a just world (i.e., a world where people get what they deserve). Previous
research has examined the implications
of this belief for observers' reactions
to innocent victims. I have expanded on
this work in several ways. First, I have
investigated how the belief in a just world
affects perceptions of and responses to
one's own misfortune rather
than the misfortune of others. Second, I have
investigated the function that this belief
might play in daily life. I have also
tried to show evidence that it is specifically
the injustice of innocent suffering
that leads to defensive responses to innocent
victims (and not, for example, simply the
presence of negative outcomes). Most recently, I have examined defensive responses to innocent suffering other than the typically studied victim blame and derogation, as well as the predictors of these alternative responses.
I have also done some recent work on
the notion of "scope of justice",
or the boundary within which justice is
seen as applicable. For example, my colleagues
and I have shown evidence for a curvilinear relation, rather than the presumed linear relation, between one's connection (e.g. perceived similarity to) a target and the extent to which one believes justice to be important when making decisions affecting the target.
Choma, B., Hafer, C.L., Crosby, F.J., & Foster, M.D. (in press). Perceptions of personal sex discrimination: The role of belief in a just world and situational ambiguity. Journal of Social Psychology.
Hafer, C.L., Conway, P., Cheung, I., Malyk, D., & Olson, J.M. (in press). The relation between people's connection with a target and the perceived importance of justice. Basic and Applied Social Psychology.
Hafer, C.L. (2011). The psychology of deservingness and acceptance of human rights. In E. Kals & J. Maes (Eds.), Justice and conflicts: Theoretical and empirical contributions (pp. 407-428). New York: Springer.
Olson, J.M., Cheung, I., Conway, P., Hutchison, J. & Hafer, C.L. (2011). Distinguishing two meanings of moral exclusion: Exclusion from moral principles or principled harm-doing? Social Justice Research, 24, 365-390.
Hafer, C.L., & Gosse, L. (2011). Predicting alternative strategies for preserving a belief in a just world: The case of repressive coping style. European Journal of Social Psychology, 41, 730-739.
Gaucher, D., Hafer, C. L., Kay, A. C., & Davidenko, N. (2010). Compensatory rationalizations and the resolution of everyday undeserved outcomes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 109-118.
Hafer, C. L., & Gosse, L. (2010). Preserving the belief in a just world: When and for whom are different strategies preferred?. In D. R. Bobocel, A. C. Kay, M. P. Zanna, & J. M. Olson (Eds.), The psychology of justice and legitimacy: The Ontario symposium (Vol. 11, pp. 79-102). New York: Psychology Press.
Olson, J. M., Hafer, C. L., Cheung, I., & Conway, P. (2010). Deservingness, the scope of justice, and actions toward others. In D. R. Bobocel, A. C. Kay, M. P. Zanna, & J. M. Olson (Eds.), The psychology of justice and legitimacy: The Ontario symposium (Vol. 11, pp. 125-149). New York: Psychology Press.
Hafer, C.L., & Choma, B.L. (2009). Belief in a just world, perceived fairness, and justification of the status quo. In J. Jost, A.C. Kay, & H. Thorisdottir (Eds.), Social and psychological bases of ideology and system justification (pp. 107-125). New York: Oxford University Press.
Bogaert, A.F., & Hafer, C.L. (2009). Predicting the timing of coming out in gay and bisexual men from world beliefs, physical attractiveness, and childhood gender identity/role. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39, 1991-2019.
Hafer, C. L., Olson, J. M., & Peterson, A. A. (2008). Extreme harmdoing: A view from the social psychology of justice. In V. M. Esses & R. A. Vernon (Eds.). Explaining the breakdown of ethnic relations: Why neighbors kill (pp. 17-40). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Hafer, C. L., Bègue, L., Choma, B. L., & Dempsey, J. L. (2005). Belief in a just world and commitment to long-term deserved outcomes. Social Justice Research, 18, 429-444.
Hafer, C. L., & Bègue, L. (2005). Experimental research on just-world theory: Problems, developments, and future challenges. Psychological Bulletin, 131, 128-167.
Hafer, C. L., & Olson, J. M. (2003). An analysis of empirical research on the scope of justice. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7, 311-323.