On the Psychology of Perceived Procedural Justice: Experimental Evidence that Behavioral Inhibition Strengthens Reactions to Voice and No-Voice Procedures

J.E. Hulst, Kees Van den Bos, A.J. Akkermans, E. Allan Lind

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Abstract

This paper argues that when people try to sort out whether they are treated in just or unjust manners, they will tend to inhibit ongoing action to pause and check what is going on. In this way, behavioral inhibition can facilitate the procedural justice judgment process of interpreting whether you were treated in just or unjust ways. We further note that receiving opportunities to voice opinions is a key antecedent of perceived procedural justice. Following this line of reasoning, we argued that an experimental manipulation that strengthens behavioral inhibition should lead people to respond more strongly to receiving voice versus being withheld voice in decision-making procedures. In two studies, we found that reminding people of times they acted with public inhibitions (versus not reminding them) indeed led to more negative procedural judgments following no-voice procedures (Study 1) and to more positive procedural justice judgments following voice procedures (Study 2). These findings suggest that higher levels of behavioral inhibition may lead people to become more sensitive to what happens in their environments and, hence, affect the justice judgment process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Psychological and Behavioral Science
Volume6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2017

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