Social Justice Research

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 109–119 | Cite as

The effects of unfair procedure on negative affect and protest

  • Riël Vermunt
  • Arjaan Wit
  • Kees van den Bos
  • E. Allan Lind


The present study extends earlier research on procedural unfairness by assessing subjects' reactions to a procedural change before they learn about the outcome of the changed procedure. Subjects performed a series of four tests. After three tests, the procedure to calculate the test scores was changed into a procedure that was very inaccurate or slightly inaccurate compared to what subjects had experienced until then. The very inaccurate procedure was judged as more unfair as the slightly inaccurate procedure. As predicted, the unfair procedure raised negative affect and motivated subjects to protest. Implications of the results for procedural justice theory are discussed.

Key Words

procedural unfairness affect protest 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riël Vermunt
    • 1
  • Arjaan Wit
    • 1
  • Kees van den Bos
    • 1
  • E. Allan Lind
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.American Bar FoundationChicago

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