LIDA 2012 – nagrađeni poster

Na konferenciji LIDA (Libraries In Digital Age) održanoj 18.-22. lipnja 2010. kolega Domagoj Volarević i ja dobili smo nagradu za poster “Vjerovanje u pravedan svijet i on-line piratstvo: slučaj Gigapedia”. Poster možete preuzeti ovdje (LIDA2012_plakat), a u nastavku je tekst postera.

Belief in a just world and on-line piracy: Gigapedia case

Recent shut down of popular e-book service Gigapedia caused significant stirring in Internet community. We will conduct a survey on Zadar University’s students to examine manners in which they use piracy-originated materials and the correspondent attitudes toward them.

Our research is focused on belief in a just world (BJW) hypothesis. This phenomenon is well researched in social psychology and it is shown to be significant explanation behind attributing victims with guilt as well as one of the helping personality determinants. It is a cognitive bias, in which subjects state they live in a just world governed by principle of justice, in which everyone receives his own due. Our research links this phenomenon with attitudes and behaviors of e-book piracy. We expect our subjects to be aware of moral issues of such practice, and we are interested in their justifications.


We assume that subjects who make use of pirated e-books are showing the similar behavior pattern with other electronic resources (movies, software, computer games). Furthermore, we assume we are going to find high correlation with egoistic ethical model statements. The subjects high on BJW scale are going to use more rights and justice based arguments in defending their behavior.


We will conduct on-line survey using belief in just world scale (Dalbert, Montada and Schmitt, 1987) to examine user behavior considering Gigapedia service usage and correlation with torrent technology usage. Beside some demographic variables, all items in the survey are Likert-type scale. Using descriptive and inferential statistical analysis we will check our hypothesis and compare our results with corresponding ones from other studies.

 Belief in a just world scale

  • I think basically the world is a just place.
  • I believe that, by and large, people get what they deserve.
  • I am confident that justice always prevails over injustice.
  • I am convinced that in the long run people will be compensated for injustices.
  • I firmly believe that injustices in all areas of life (e.g., professional, family, politic) are the exception rather than the rule.
  • I think people try to be fair when making important decisions.


Participants included 13 males and 31 females, of which 24 were students. Most of participants were attending or graduated from social sciences (64%). Survey was conducted using Google documents service.

We found Gigapedia usage by one third of participants (30%), and just 16% admitted they were very frustrated by shutting it down. They used Gigapedia service at most for scientific literature, but we did not find significant impact of resource type on service usage. However, when P2P service like torrents were asked, participants were using it most frequently for downloading movies (73%), music (59%), and games (39%). Considering books and comics, meager one quarter and one eighth respectively. Participants also claimed they will be very frustrated if torrent service would shut down by majority (60% agree strongly).

Some typical behavior considering piracy is established also. Almost two thirds of piracy related behavior variance (r2=64%, df=41) is explained by torrents usage alone. Interestingly enough, the more our participants embarked on piracy, the more they were prone to buy books, DVDs or games (r=,355, df=41, p<,05). Such finding is not surprising of we remember the Napster case: their defense established that no significant drop of sales is marked in shops near college campuses, implying students are using Napster as a catalogue to choose from which music they are going to buy. Our participants also claimed they examined most of the downloaded content (r=-,430, df=41, p<,05), which is consistent with Napster findings.

Belief in a just world scale (BJW) consisted of six items (each on Likert scale ranging from 1 to 6) and total score was calculated. It produced normal distribution (M=23, sd=6,037, Shapiro-Wilkis W=,982, p<,05). We correlated each item on BJW scale as well as total BJW score with other items and scale totals producing several interesting correlation:

as exepcted, each item on BJW scale had significant and very high correlation with BJW total score (correlation factors ranging from ,66 to ,91)

BJW total was on the verge of significance (r=-,3298, df=35, p=,057) with item “I was very frustrated with shutting down of Gigapedia service.”

Using ANOVA procedure, we established significant impact of BJW on C (consequence) scale (F=2,087, df=21, p<,05) – more intensive belief in a just world, subjects were more prone to justify situation using consequences, as was to be expected. On the other hand, inverse effect on justifying using rules was not found.


Ahmad, N. H., Ansari, M. F, Aafaqi, R. (2005). Ethical Reasoning: The Impact of Ethical Dilemma, Egoism and Belief in Just World. Asian Academy of Management Journal, (10)2, 81-101.

Baron, R. A., Byrne, D. (1997). Social Psychology (8th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Dalbert, C., Montada, L., Schmitt, M. (1987). General belief in just world scale. Retrieved March 1st, 2012, from