Deciding that negative experiences are punishment for prior misdeeds, even when plausible causal links are missing, is immanent justice (IJ) reasoning (Piaget, 1932/1965). Three studies examined a just world theory analysis of IJ reasoning in adults (Lerner, 1980). Studies 1 and 2 varied the valence of a target person's behavior prior to them experiencing an unrelated negative (car accident, Study 1) or positive (lottery win, Study 2) outcome. Participants viewed the outcomes as the result of prior behavior most when they fit deservingness expectations (good person won the lottery, bad person injured in automobile accident), suggesting that just world concerns influenced IJ reasoning. The lottery-winning finding (Study 2) also extends IJ reasoning to positive experiences. A third study found that a manipulation of just world threat in one context (prolonged or ended suffering of an HIV victim) influenced IJ responses in a subsequent unrelated context (automobile accident scenario).