Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 19–43 | Cite as

Formation of Procedural Justice Judgments in Legal Negotiation

  • Rebecca Hollander-BlumoffEmail author


Research has indicated that procedural justice—fairness of decisionmaking processes—plays an important role in bilateral legal negotiation, encouraging the acceptance of negotiated agreements. Additionally, research has suggested that procedural justice leads to opportunities for increased integrative bargaining. However, procedural justice judgments are typically measured as subjective assessments by disputants. If procedural justice plays an important role in legal dispute negotiation, it is critical to understand how individuals form judgments about fairness of process. The study presented explores antecedents of procedural justice judgments in legal negotiation. Results suggest that although all potential identified antecedent variables—voice, courtesy/respect, trust, and neutrality—play a role in judgments about procedural justice, the primary component is courtesy/respect behavior by the speaker and her partner. Parties share some agreement about the presence of courtesy/respect behavior and trust behavior, and third-party coders can identify behavior that reliably relates to the parties’ procedural justice antecedent assessments. Additionally, results indicate that appeals to potential “neutral” benchmarks such as legal authority lead to lower assessments of procedural justice. These findings suggest that courtesy and respect are the primary drivers of negotiators’ procedural justice assessments, and that such courtesy/respect behavior is not merely a subjective artifact of the participant but can be observed by a third-party coder.


Procedural justice Legal negotiation Procedural justice antecedents 


  1. Baumeister RF, Vohs KD, Funder DC (2007) Psychology as the science of self-reports and finger movements: or, whatever happened to actual behavior? Perspect Psychol Sci 2:396–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Depaulo BM (1992) Nonverbal behavior and self-presentation. Psychol Bull 111(2):203–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Fisher R, Ury W, Patton B (1981) Getting to yes. Penguin Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Funder DC (2001) Personality. Annu Rev Psychol 52:197–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hollander-Blumoff R, Tyler TR (2008) Procedural justice in negotiation: procedural fairness, outcome acceptance, and integrative potential. Law Soc Inq 33:473–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kass E (2008) Interactional justice, negotiator outcome satisfaction, and desire for future negotiations: R-E-S-P-E-C-T at the negotiating table. Int J Confl Manag 19:319–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kenny DA (1994) Interpersonal perception: a social relations analysis. Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Kenny DA, Albright L (1987) Accuracy in interpersonal perception: a social-relations analysis. Psychol Bull 102(3):390–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Krippendorff K (1980) Content analysis: an introduction to its methodology. Sage Publications, Beverly HillsGoogle Scholar
  10. Leventhal GS (1980) What should be done with equity theory? New approaches to the study of fairness in social relationship. In: Gergen KJ , Greenberg MS, Willis RH (eds) Social exchange: advances in theory and research. Plenum: New York, pp 27–55Google Scholar
  11. Lind EA, MacCoun RJ, Ebener PA, Flestiner WLF, Hensler DR, Resnik J, Tyler TR (1990) In the eye of the beholder: tort litigant’s evaluations of civil justice system experiences. Law Soc Rev 24:953–996Google Scholar
  12. Lind EA, Tyler TR (1988) The social psychology of procedural justice. Plenum, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lind EA, Tyler TR, Huo YJ (1997) Procedural context and culture: variations in the antecedents of procedural justice judgments. J Pers Soc Psychol 73:767–780CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. MacCoun RJ, Tyler TR (1988) The basis of citizens’ perceptions of the criminal jury: procedural fairness, accuracy and efficiency. Law Hum Behav 12:333–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mehl MR, Gosling SD, Pennebaker JW (2006) Personality in its natural habitat: manifestations and implicit folk theories of personality in daily life. J Pers Soc Psychol 90:862–877CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mnookin RH, Kornhauser L (1979) Bargaining in the shadow of the law: the case of divorce. Yale Law Rev 88:950–997CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mnookin RH, Peppet SR, Tulumello AS (2000) Beyond winning. Cambridge, BelknapGoogle Scholar
  18. Pruitt DG, Pierce RS, McGillicuddy NB, Welton GL, Castrainno LB (1993) Long-term success in mediation. Law Hum Behav 17:133–330Google Scholar
  19. Ross L (1977) The intuitive psychologist and his shortcomings: distortions in the attribution process. In: Berkowitz L (ed) Advances in experimental social psychology, vol 10. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Srivastava S, Guglielmo S, Beer JS (2010) Perceiving others’ personalities: examining the dimensionality, assumed similarity to the self, and stability of perceiver effects. J Pers Soc Psychol 98:520–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Thibaut J, Walker L (1975) Procedural justice: a psychological analysis. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, HillsdaleGoogle Scholar
  22. Tyler TR (1984) The role of perceived injustice in defendant’s evaluations of their courtroom experience. Law Soc Rev 18:1–74Google Scholar
  23. Tyler TR (1990) Why people obey the law: procedural justice, legitimacy and compliance. Yale University Press: New HavenGoogle Scholar
  24. Tyler TR (2000) Social justice. Int J Psychol 35:117–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tyler TR, Blader SL (2004) Justice and negotiation. In: Gelfand MJ, Brett Jeanne M (eds) The handbook of negotiation and culture. Stanford University Press, Stanford, pp 295–312Google Scholar
  26. Tyler TR, Folger (1980) Distributional and procedural aspects of satisfaction with citizen-ploice encounters. Basic Appl Soc Psychol 1:281–292Google Scholar
  27. Tyler TR, Lind EA (1992) A relational model of authority in groups. Adv Exp Soc Psychol 25:115–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Van den Bos K, Lind EA (2002) Uncertainty management by means of fairness judgments. In: Zanna MP (ed) Advances in experimental social psychology, vol 34. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 1–60Google Scholar
  29. Van den Bos K, Lind EA, Vermunt R, Wilke H (1997) How do I judge my outcome when I do not know the outcome of others? The psychology of the fair process effect. J Pers Soc Psychol 72:1034–1046Google Scholar
  30. Vazire S (2010) Who knows what about a person? The self-other knowledge asymmetry (SOKA) model. J Pers Soc Psychol 98:281–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wagner LM, Druckman D (2012) The role of justice in historical negotiatons. Negot Confl Manag Res 5:49–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wood D, Harms P, Vazire S (2010) Perceiver effects as projective tests: what your perceptions of others say about you. J Pers Soc Psychol 99:174–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Washington University Law SchoolSt. LouisUSA

Personalised recommendations