An exploration of third parties’ preference for compensation over punishment: six experimental demonstrations

Janne van Doorn*, Marcel Zeelenberg, Seger M. Breugelmans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Research suggests that to restore equity, third parties prefer compensation of a victim over the punishment of a perpetrator. It remains unclear, however, whether this preference for compensation is stable or specific to certain situations. In six experimental studies, we find that adjustments in the characteristics of the situation or in the available behavioral options hardly modify the preference of compensation over punishment. This preference for compensation was found even in cases where punishment might refrain a perpetrator from acting unfairly again in the future, and even when punishment has a greater impact in restoring equity than compensation does. Thus, the preference of compensation over punishment appears to be quite robust. Implications and ideas for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-351
Number of pages19
JournalTheory and Decision
Volume85
Issue number3/4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Compensation
  • Equity
  • Injustice
  • Preference
  • Punishment
  • Third party

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