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When fairness is especially important: Reactions to being inequitably paid in communal relationships

By Susanne Lidewij Peters and K. van den Bos


This article focuses on when justice is especially important to people and, in doing so, explores the social conditions under which the importance of justice may change in social interactions. More specifically, the authors examine how different types of relationships affect evaluations of equitable and inequitable\ud situations. It is argued that when people are confronted with friends as interaction partners, as opposed to unknown others, they are motivated to attend to the needs of their friends (Clark & Mills, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 12–24, 1979) and, therefore, they are not only concerned with their own outcomes, but also with their friends’ outcomes. As predicted on the basis of this line of reasoning, two experiments demonstrate that when people’s interaction partners are friends, people are indeed more satisfied with being underpaid and less satisfied with being overpaid compared to when their interaction partners are unknown others. In the discussion, it is argued that these findings suggest that justice is especially important to people when they are in communal relationships

Topics: Sociale Wetenschappen, fairness, equity, inequity, communal relationships, friends, unknown others
Year: 2008
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