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Not fair for me! The influence of personal relevance on social justice inferences


Ham, Jaap; Bos, Kees van den


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Abstract In this paper, we argue that the personal relevance of a situation primarily influences spontaneous inferences about social justice, and not necessarily affects explicit justice judgments. To test this hypothesis, two studies manipulated personal relevance and assessed justice inferences and judgments: Participants read descriptions of fair or unfair events happening to stimulus persons referred to with first-person versus third-person pronouns (Experiment 1) or as "a friend" versus "a stranger" (Experiment 2). We then measured spontaneous justice inferences (using the probe recognition paradigm) and explicit justice judgments (using rating scales). As predicted, both studies showed stronger spontaneous justice inferences for high personal relevance descriptions, of unjust events specifically, whereas explicit justice judgments were not significantly influenced by our personal relevance manipulations. These findings suggest that especially the spontaneous component of the justice judgment process is sensitive to personal relevance.
Klassifikation Sozialpsychologie
Freie Schlagwörter Justice; Morality; Personal relevance; Spontaneous inferences; Explicit judgments
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2008
Seitenangabe S. 699-705
Zeitschriftentitel Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44 (2008) 3
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2007.04.009
Status Postprint; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)