Levels of Interest in the Study of Interpersonal Justice

  • Harry T. Reis
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)


The period following 1976 ought to have been the halcyon years of equity theory. The year 1976 stands as a landmark, because in that year, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology devoted an entire volume to equity theory, the only time since its inauguration in 1964 that a single issue has been so dedicated. The reason for this unprecedented attention was the “new mood of optimism [that] is emerging in social psychology.” This hopefulness sprang from the promise of equity theory, because “equity theory was developed in the hope of providing the glimmerings of the general theory that social psychologists so badly need.” (Both quotes, Berkowitz & Walster, 1976, p. xi.) In other words, it was thought, by the editors as well as many other researchers at the time, that equity theory might be the general systems theory that would provide a framework for conceptualizing most aspects of social relations. In so doing, the theory would make available an integrated structure for the myriad of minitheories and isolated experimental phenomena that then predominated the literature.


Procedural Justice Distributive Justice Equity Theory Relative Deprivation Experimental Social Psychology 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry T. Reis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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