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Sometimes unfair procedures have nice aspects : On the psychology of the fair process effect

By K. van den Bos, J. Bruins, H.A.M. Wilke and E. Dronkert


This article focuses on the psychology of the fair process effect (the frequently replicated finding that perceived procedural fairness positively affects people's reactions). It is argued that when people receive an unfavorable outcome, they may start looking for causes that explain why they received this outcome. Furthermore, the authors propose that unfair procedures provide an opportunity to attribute one's unfavorable outcome to external causes, whereas fair procedures do not. As a consequence, people may react more negatively after fair as opposed to unfair procedures (a reversal of the fair process effect). The findings of 3 experiments corroborate the authors' line of reasoning and show that if unfavorable outcomes strongly instigate attribution-seeking processes, a reversal of the fair process effect indeed can be found. In this way, these findings show that sometimes unfair procedures have nice aspects

Topics: Sociale Wetenschappen
Year: 1999
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.library.uu.nl:1874/7740
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