Life Satisfaction and Job-Seeking Behavior of the Unemployed: The Effect of Individual Differences in Justice Sensitivity

Olga Stavrova*, Thomas Schloesser, Anna Baumert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examines the effect of justice sensitivity on the life satisfaction and job-seeking behavior of unemployed individuals and considers the likelihood of experiencing long-term unemployment. We focus on two facets of dispositional justice sensitivity that reflect individual differences in perception and reactions to perpetrating injustice against others (perpetrator sensitivity) or suffering from the injustice of others as an innocent victim (victim sensitivity). We hypothesised that the negative effect of unemployment on life satisfaction is stronger among individuals with higher levels of victim sensitivity and perpetrator sensitivity. The former are more likely to perceive themselves as victims of an unjust situation, such as fate or the employer's decisions, whereas the latter are more likely to perceive themselves as perpetrators against the rules of social justice. Using survey data from approximately 400 participants, we found that unemployed individuals were less satisfied with life than employed individuals and that this relationship was stronger for perpetrator-sensitive individuals. Unemployed perpetrator-sensitive individuals were more likely to engage in active job-seeking behavior and faced a lower likelihood of long-term unemployment. The results are discussed in terms of the importance of justice-related personality aspects of unemployed individuals for their well-being and labor market outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-670
Number of pages28
JournalApplied Psychology: An International Review
Volume63
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • MENTAL-HEALTH
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT
  • EMPLOYMENT STATUS
  • SOCIAL SUPPORT
  • PERSONALITY
  • INJUSTICE
  • ATTITUDES
  • MODELS
  • WORK
  • ANTECEDENTS

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