The role of societal benefits and fairness concerns among decision makers and decision recipients

Larry Heuer, Steven Penrod, Ayelet Kattan
Law and Human Behavior 2007, 31 (6): 573-610
Four experiments examined the role of costs and benefits versus procedural and distributive justice for procedural fairness and procedural evaluations among decision makers and decision recipients. Experiments 1 and 2 examined the responses of actual judges in a 2 (high versus low benefit) x 2 (search procedure conducted respectfully versus disrespectfully) randomized factorial. In both studies judges evaluated procedures differently than is typical among samples of decision recipients: outcome concerns strongly influenced both procedural evaluations and procedural fairness while procedural concerns such as voice and respect were minimally influential. Whereas fairness concerns continued to be important among these decision makers, outcome fairness was more influential than procedural fairness. Studies 3 and 4 varied role (authority versus subordinate), procedural respect, and societal benefits. Both experiments supported our predictions that procedural criteria would dominate the procedural evaluations of subordinates whereas outcome concerns such as societal benefits would dominate the procedural evaluations of authorities.

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