Social Justice Research

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 273–285

Egocentric bias in perceived fairness: Is it observed in Japan?

  • Ken'ichiro Tanaka

DOI: 10.1007/BF01054462

Cite this article as:
Tanaka, K. Soc Just Res (1993) 6: 273. doi:10.1007/BF01054462


Experiment 1 was a Japanese replication of the studies reported by Messicket al. (1985) and Liebrandet al. (1986). Subjects were asked to write down fair or unfair behaviors that they or others did, giving as many examples as possible in 5 min. As in the previous studies, the subjects began more fair behaviors with the word “I” than with “others.” Likewise, they began more unfair behaviors with the word “others” than with “I.” In Experiment 2, 80 examples of behaviors (40 fair and 40 unfair) were selected randomly from the results of Experiment 1. The difference between the number of frequent behaviors sorted into the “fair/I” category and that sorted into the “unfair/I” category was greater than that between the number of behaviors sorted into the “fair/others” and that sorted to be “unfair/others.” Salient behaviors were more likely to be sorted into the category of “unfair” than into “fair,” and more likely to be sorted into “others” than “I.” On the whole, the egocentric bias of fairness was confirmed in Japan as well as in the Netherlands and the United States. However, in both experiments, gender differences were found; women, compared to men, recalled more others' behavior than their own and were likely to attribute fair and/or unfair behavior to others rather than to themselves.

Key words

cross-cultural replicationegocentric fairness biasesgender differencesother-oriented tendencyself-deprecative tendency

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ken'ichiro Tanaka
    • 1
  1. 1.Tohoku Women's Junior CollegeAomoriJapan