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The Other Criteria of Meritocracy: Relevance Beliefs Justify Discrimination As Fair
Meritocracy requires outcomes be determined by individuals’ efforts; people discriminate the more internally controlled they believe a characteristic to be (e.g., weight). However, meritocracy also requires relevance - that individuals' relevant efforts matter. Across 9 studies, relevance beliefs affect people’s discrimination (race, disability, age) and competitive (ingratiation, name dropping) behaviors.