Murakami M., Hiraishi K.(平石界), Yamagata M.(山縣芽生), Nakanishi D.(中西大輔), Miura A.(三浦麻子) (2022). 
Belief in just deserts regarding individuals infected with COVID-19 in Japan and its associations with demographic factors and infection-related and socio-psychological characteristics: a cross-sectional study.
PeerJ 10:e14545

Prejudice related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a social issue worldwide. A possible psychological factor that promotes prejudice is the belief in just deserts (BJD) regarding individuals infected with COVID-19 (i.e., the belief that the infected individual deserves to be infected). The BJD is based on the belief in immanent justice. It is reportedly higher in Japan than in other countries. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the BJD among Japanese individuals and clarify its associations with demographic factors or infection-related and socio-psychological characteristics. To this end, we conducted an online questionnaire survey in Japan from August 7–8, 2020, with 1,207 respondents aged 20–69 years. We performed screening to exclude inappropriate responses. We investigated the association between the BJD and demographic factors such as gender and age. We also investigated the association between the BJD and infection-related and socio-psychological characteristics, including risk perception of COVID-19 infection and human rights restrictions (i.e., the degree of agreement with government restrictions on individuals’ behavior during emergencies). Among the surveyed items, human rights restrictions showed a strong association with BJD, followed by risk perception of COVID-19 infection. Men had a slightly higher BJD than women. Our study is significant in that it is the first to investigate the items associated with the BJD, thereby providing foundational information for revising individual perceptions of justice related to COVID-19 and solving prejudice-related issues.

◆ これまでに、日本では新型コロナウイルス(以下、「新型コロナ」)感染を「自業自得」と考える人の割合が他国よりも高いことが知られていた
◆ 今回の研究では、日本における新型コロナ感染は自業自得と考える人の特徴を分析した
◆ 非常時における政府の行動制限に賛成する人ほど、新型コロナ感染は自業自得と思う傾向があった
◆ 平均的な日本人が新型コロナに感染する可能性は低いと思う人ほど、新型コロナ感染は自業自得と思う傾向があったが、その関連は弱かった
◆ 新型コロナ感染症禍での差別や偏見の課題解決に向けた基盤的知見を提供できた