Abstract: The status-legitimacy hypothesis proposes that low-status groups are more inclined to justify the status quo as fair and legitimate than high-status groups. Although there are some research evidences for this hypothesis, many studies have found the opposite result, that disadvantaged groups are more dissatisfied with the social system. To resolve this disagreement, this article integrates relevant ideas and empirical research in three aspects. First, the conceptual approach emphasises that the controversy is a result of different operational definitions of social status and system justification in previous studies. The second approach, focusing on moderator variables, proposes that the disputes over past studies are probably due to moderator variables, which can influence the relationship between status and system justification. The third approach, based on psychological mechanisms, proposes that system justification theory cannot completely explain the psychological underpinnings of status differences in system justification, and in order to clarify this, it is necessary to explore other psychological processes. Future studies should continue to examine the mediation mechanisms and boundary conditions of the status-legitimacy hypothesis and may try to establish a nonlinear hypothesis. Moreover, researchers should also pay attention to the application of experimental methods and big-data methods.
Keywords: status-legitimacy hypothesis; system justification; social status
文章信息：Yang S.-L., Xu B.-X., Yu F., and Guo Y.-Y. (2019). Revisiting the status-legitimacy hypothesis: Concepts, boundary conditions, and psychological mechanisms. Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology, 13, e20. https://doi.org/10.1017/prp.2019.15