Social Justice Research

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 509–528

Does Moral Conviction Really Override Concerns About Procedural Justice? A Reexamination of the Value Protection Model


DOI: 10.1007/s11211-008-0083-y

Cite this article as:
Napier, J.L. & Tyler, T.R. Soc Just Res (2008) 21: 509. doi:10.1007/s11211-008-0083-y


A large research literature on procedural justice demonstrates that people are more accepting of decisions that they do not feel are advantageous or fair when those decisions are arrived at using just procedures. Recently, several papers (Skitka, Pers Soc Psychol Bull, 28:588–597, 2002; Skitka and Mullen, Pers Soc Psychol Bull, 28:1419–1429, 2002) have argued that these procedural mechanisms do not have a significant influence when the decision made concerns issues about which those involved have strong moral feelings (“a moral mandate”). A reanalysis of the data in these two studies indicates that, contrary to the strong position taken by the authors, i.e. that “when people have a moral mandate about an outcome, any means justifies the mandated end” (Skitka, Pers Soc Psychol Bull, 28:594, 2002), the justice of decision-making procedures is consistently found to significantly influence people’s reactions to decisions by authorities and institutions even when their moral mandates are threatened.


Moral conviction Procedural justice Relational model Value protection model 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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