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Perceptions of unfairness in allocations between multiple recipients
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
2011 (English)In: Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 0010-0285, E-ISSN 1095-5623, Vol. 62, no 3, 225-244 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper introduces a new model to explain perceptions of unfairness in resource allocations between multiple recipients. The model yields several novel predictions, all confirmed in a series of new empirical tests. For instance, while much prior research focuses on the differences between the judge’s share and others’ shares, we argue that people also care about differences between others’ shares. In particular, the presence of a single loser increases perceptions of unfairness. We also study individual variation in sensitivity to the single-loser dimension. Most centrally, we offer empirical support for the existence – indeed the prevalence – of ostraphobics, individuals with an acute sensitivity to being “ostracized” as a sole loser. We show that ostraphobics perceive unfairness more strongly than other types, are higher in need to belong and fear of negative evaluation, and are more prone to a heretofore unrecognized type of preference reversal with respect to fairness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 62, no 3, 225-244 p.
Keyword [en]
Perception, Unfairness, Distributive justice, Need to belong
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-55032DOI: 10.1016/j.cogpsych.2011.01.001ISI: 000290839200003OAI: diva2:404215
Swedish Research Council, 1454201EU, European Research Council
Available from: 2011-03-16 Created: 2011-02-25 Last updated: 2012-01-18Bibliographically approved

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