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Group Categorization and Distributive Justice Decisions

  • Lawrence A. Messé
  • Robert W. Hymes
  • Robert J. MacCoun
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)

Abstract

This chapter explores how group categorization processes can mediate the perceived applicability of one’s sense of justice to reward distribution decisions. Group categorization—that is, the tendency in people to categorize themselves and others into social aggregates, whereby the aggregates to which they belong are perceived as ingroups and those to which they do not belong are perceived as outgroups—has been shown to be relevant to a wide range of social psychological phenomena (Tajfel, 1978; Wilder, 1981). Empirical studies of group categorization, for the most part, have demonstrated ingroup-favorability; persons tend to react more positively to others whom they see as members of their ingroup than to those whom they see as belonging to outgroups (Brewer, 1979). Within this research tradition, there is a body of work (summarized in Tajfel, 1978; Tajfel & Turner, 1979; as well as elsewhere, e.g., Allen, 1982; Caddick, 1980) that has investigated the extent to which group categorization processes can affect reward allocation. Consistent with the notion of ingroup favorability bias, these studies have generated evidence that persons, when distributing rewards among persons in different group categories, will be more generous to in ingroup members, even though such allocations violate accepted norms of fairness.

Keywords

Behavioral Intention Distributive Justice Group Categorization External Variable Role Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence A. Messé
    • 1
  • Robert W. Hymes
    • 2
  • Robert J. MacCoun
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Michigan at DearbornDearbornUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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