Social Justice Research

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 385–407 | Cite as

Dispositional Sensitivity to Befallen Injustice

  • Manfred J. Schmitt
  • Roland Neumann
  • Leo Montada


Dispositional Sensitivity to Befallen Injustice (SBI) is proposed as a new construct. A self-report questionnaire with four types of indicators (frequency, intensity of anger, intrusiveness of thoughts, punitivity) was developed for measuring SBI. Using structural equation modeling and the general rationale of multitrait-multimethod analysis, the convergent and discriminant validity of this questionnaire was investigated vis-à-vis measures for Trait Anger, Anger In, Anger Out, and Frustration Tolerance as related constructs. Additionally, a meaningful pattern of correlations was obtained between SBI and Life Satisfaction, Centrality of Justice, Interpersonal Trust, and Need for Control. Finally, self-reported sensitivity to befallen injustice was found to predict cognitive, emotional, and behavioral reactions to unjust treatment in laboratory and natural settings several weeks later.

Key Words

justice frustration anger disappointment structural equation modeling construct validation measurement model multitrait-multimethod analysis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ahadi, S., and Diener, E. (1989). Multiple determinants and effect size.J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 56: 398–406.Google Scholar
  2. Averill, J. R. (1982).Anger and Aggression. An Essay on Emotion, Springer New York.Google Scholar
  3. Borkenau, P. (1986). Toward an understanding of trait interrelations: Acts as instances for several traits.J. Pers. Soc. Psychol., 51: 371–381.Google Scholar
  4. Campbell, G. T., and Fiske, D. W. (1959). Convergent and discriminant validation by the multitrait-multimethod matrix.Psychol. Bull. 56: 81–105.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Christianson, S. A. (Ed.) (1992).The Handbook of Emotion and Memory: Research and Theory, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.Google Scholar
  6. Crosby, F. (1981).Relative Deprivation and Working Women, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  7. Crosby, F. (1984). Relative deprivation in organisational settings.Res. Organ. Behav. 6: 51–93.Google Scholar
  8. Dalbert, C., Montada, L., and Schmitt, M. (1987). Glaube an eine gerechte Welt als Motiv: Validierungskorrelate zweier Skalen.Psychol. Beitr. 29: 596–615.Google Scholar
  9. Dar, Y., and Resh, N. (1993). Exploring the multi-dimensional structure of sense of deprivation: The case of Israeli Junior High School students. Unpublished manuscript, The Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel.Google Scholar
  10. Deutsch, M. (1985).Distributive Justice, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT.Google Scholar
  11. Dörner, D., and Stäudel, T. (1990). Emotion und Kognition. In Scherer, K. R. (ed.),Psychologie der Emotion, Hogrefe, Göttingen, Germany, pp. 293–344.Google Scholar
  12. Furnham, A., and Procter, E. (1989). Belief in a just world: Review and critique of the individual difference literature.Br. J. Soc. Psychol. 28: 365–384.Google Scholar
  13. Gordon, I. E. (1989).Theories of Visual Perception. Wiley, Chichester, England.Google Scholar
  14. Higgins, E. T., and King, G. (1981). Accessibility of social constructs: Information-processing consequences of individual and contextual variability. In Cantor, N., and Kihlstrom, J. F. (eds.),Personality, Cognition, and Social Interaction, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 69–122.Google Scholar
  15. Huseman, R. C., Hatfield, J. D., and Miles, E. W. (1985). Test for individual perceptions of job equity: Some preliminary findings.Percept. Motor Skills, 61: 1055–1064.Google Scholar
  16. Josso, G. (1983). Fairness of individual rewards and fairness of the reward distribution: Specifying the inconsistency between the micro and macro principles of justice.Soc. Psychol. Quart. 46: 185–199.Google Scholar
  17. Jöreskog, K. G., and Sörbom, D. (1988).Lisrel 7, SPSS-Inc, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  18. Kammann, R. (1983). Objective circumstances, life satisfactions, and sense of well-being: Consistencies across time and place.N. Z. J. Psychol. 12: 14–22.Google Scholar
  19. Klauer, T., and Filipp, S.-H. (1993).Trierer Skalen zur Krankheitsbewältigung (TSK). Hogrefe, Göttingen, Germany.Google Scholar
  20. Klein, R., and Bierhoff, H.-W. (1988). Ungerechtgkeit: Eine neue Reaktionstypologie. In W. Schönpflug (ed.),Bericht über den 36. Kongreß der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie in Berlin 1988, Vol. 1, Hogrefe, Gottingen, Germany, p. 92.Google Scholar
  21. Kordmann, P. (1991). Determinanten der Opferbeurteilung, University-of Trier Department of Psychology, Trier, Germany.Google Scholar
  22. Krampen, G., Viebig, J., and Walter, W. (1982). Entwicklung einer Skala zur Erfassung dreier Aspekte von sozialem Vertrauen.Diagnostica 28: 242–247.Google Scholar
  23. Lind, A. E., and Tyler, T. R. (1988).The Social Psychology of Procedural Justice, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  24. Major, B., and Deaux, K. (1982). Individual differences in justice behavior. In Greenberg, J., and Cohen, R. L. (eds.),Equity and Justice in Social Behavior, Academic Press, New York, pp. 43–76.Google Scholar
  25. Mikula, G. (1981). Concepts of distributive justice in allocation decisions: A review of research in German-speaking countries.German J. Psychol 5: 222–236.Google Scholar
  26. Mikula, G. (1986). The experience of injustice: Towards a better understanding of its phemenology. In Bierhoff, H.-W., Cohen, R. L., and Greenberg, J. (eds.).Justice in Interpersonal Relations, Plenum Press, New York, pp. 103–124.Google Scholar
  27. Mikula, G., Petri, B., and Tanzer, N. (1990). What people regard as unjust: Types and structues of everyday experiences of injustice.Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. 20: 133–149.Google Scholar
  28. Montada, L., and Schneider, A. (1990). Justice and emotional reactions to the disadvantaged.Soc. Justice Res. 3: 313–344.Google Scholar
  29. Montada, L., Dalbert, C., and Schneider, A. (1990).Coping mit Problemen sozial schwacher Menschen. Ergebnisse der Längsschnittuntersuchung, University of Trier Department of Psychology, Trier, Germany.Google Scholar
  30. Montada, L., Dalbert, C., Reichle, B., and Schmitt, M. (1986). Urteile über Gerechtigkeit, “Existentielle Schuld” und Strategien der Schuldabwehr. In Oser, F., Althof, W., and Garz, D. (eds.),Moralische Zugänge zum Menschen—Ungänge zum moralischen Menschen Peter Kindt Verlag, München, Germany, pp. 205–225.Google Scholar
  31. Montada, L., Schmitt, M., and Dalbert, C. (1983),Existentielle Schuld: Rekrutierung der Untersuchungsstichprobe, Erhebungsinstrumente und Untersuchungsplan, University of Trier Department of Psychology, Trier, Germany.Google Scholar
  32. Montada, L., Schmitt, M., and Dalbert, C. (1986). Thinking about justice and dealing with one's own privileges: A study of existential guilt. In Bierhoff, H.-W., Cohen, R. L., and Greenberg, J. (eds.),Justice in Social Relations, Plenum Press, New York, pp. 125–143.Google Scholar
  33. Neumann, R. (1991).Sensibilität gegenüber erfahrener Ungerechtigkeit, University of Trier Department of Psychology, Trier, Germany.Google Scholar
  34. Olweus, D. (1979). Stability of aggressive reaction patterns in males: A review.Psychol. Bull. 86: 852–875.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Plutchik, R. (1980).Emotion. A Psychoevolutionary Synthesis, Harper, New York.Google Scholar
  36. Rime, B., Philippot, P., Boca, S., and Mesquita, B. (1992). Long-lasting cognitive and social consequences of emotion: Social sharing and rumination. In Stroebe, W., and Hewstone, M. (eds.),European Review of Social Psychology Vol. 3, Wiley, Chichester, England, pp. 225–258.Google Scholar
  37. Rosenzweig, S. (1978).Aggressive Behavior and the Rosenzweig Picture-Frustration Study. Praeger, New York.Google Scholar
  38. Rotter, J. B. (1967). A new scale for the measurement of interpersonal trust.J. Pers. 35: 651–665.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Rubin, Z. and Peplau, L. A. (1973). Belief in a just world and reactions to another's lot: A study of participants in the national draft lottery.J. Soc. Issues 29(4): 73–93.Google Scholar
  40. Sabbagh, C., Dar, Y., and Resh, N. (1994). The structure of social justice judgements: Towards an integrative framework.Soc. Psychol. Quart. 57: 244–261.Google Scholar
  41. Scherer, K. R., Wallbortt, H. G., and Summerfield, A. B. (eds.) (1986).Experiencing emotion: A Cross-Cultural Study, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.Google Scholar
  42. Schmitt, M. and Mohiyeddini, C. (1995).Sensitivity to Befallen Injustice and Reactions to Unjust Treatment in the Laboratory and Real Life Disadvantages, University of Trier Department of Psychology, Trier, Germany.Google Scholar
  43. Schmitt, M. and Mohiyeddini, C. (1995).Sensitivity to Befallen Injustice and Reactions to Unjust Treatment in the Laboratory and Real Life Disadvantages, University of Trier Department of Psychology, Trier, Germany.Google Scholar
  44. Schmitt, M., Behner, R., Müller, L., and Montada, L. (1992).Werte, existentielle Schuld u Hilfsbereitschaft gegenüber Indios und landlosen Bauern in Paraguay, University of Trier Department of Psychology, Trier, Germany.Google Scholar
  45. Schmitt, M., Neumann, R., and Montada, L. (1992).Sensitivity to Experienced Injustice: Structural Equation Measurement and Validation Models, University of Trier Department of Psychology, Trier, Germany.Google Scholar
  46. Schneider, A., Meissner, A., Montada, L., and Reichle, B. (1987).Validierung von Selbstberichten über Fremdratings, University of Trier Department of Psychology, Trier, Germany.Google Scholar
  47. Schwenkmezger, P. and Hodapp, V. (1989). Das State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI): Itemmetrische und faktorenanalytische Befunde und Untersuchungen zur KonstruktvaliditätTrierer Psychol. Berichte 16(1).Google Scholar
  48. Schwinger, T. and Winterhoff-Spurk, P. (1984). Gleichheits- vs. Leistungsprinzip: Rasch-Skalen zur Messung dispositioneller Einstellungen zu zwei Prinzipien distributiver Gerechtigkeit.Diagnostica 30: 125–143.Google Scholar
  49. Spielberger, C. D. (1988).State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory, Res. ed., PAR, Odessa, FL.Google Scholar
  50. Törnblom, K. Y. (1992). The social psychology of distributive justice. In Scherer, K. (ed.),Justice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., pp. 175–236.Google Scholar
  51. Wahner, U. (1986).Bewertungen der Gerechtigkeit in unterschiedlichen Kontexten: Personale Determinaten erlebter Verteilungs- und Verfahrensgerechtigkeit, University of Trier Department of Psychology, Trier, Germany.Google Scholar
  52. Wicker, F. W., Payne, G. C., and Morgan, R. D. (1983). Participant descriptions of guilt and shame.Motiv. Emot. 7: 25–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Widaman, K. F. (1985). Hierarchically nested covariance structure models for multitrait-multimethod data.Appl. Psychol. Meas. 9: 1–26.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred J. Schmitt
    • 1
  • Roland Neumann
    • 1
  • Leo Montada
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TrierTrierGermany

Personalised recommendations