Can Beliefs in Justice Predict Corrupt Behavior?


  • Kotryna Stupnianek
  • Vytautas Navickas


The belief in a just world has been found to be related to rule breaking behavior. However, research has yet to determine whether the same relation holds for corrupt behavior. The current study focused on identifying whether the belief in a just world is a factor that predicts bribery behavior. We hypothesized that people with a weaker belief in a just world would be more likely to report that they had given a bribe compared with people with a strong belief in a just world. A retrospective design was used to conduct a study in Lithuania. Belief in a just world was measured with two scales for assessing personal and general beliefs in a just world. We measured bribery behavior by asking participants (N = 316) to report how many times they had given a bribe during the past 5 years. The results showed that a personal belief in a just world predicted bribery behavior, whereas a general belief in a just world did not. We discuss implications for further studies.