Heather Barry and Situationist Contributor Tom Tyler recently published a fascinating article, “The Other Side of Injustice: When Unfair Procedures Increase Group-Serving Behavior,” in Psychological Science. Here’s the abstract.
Greater group identification and higher levels of procedural justice typically work together to encourage group members to engage in group-serving cooperative behavior. However, when people who already identify with a group receive information indicating that the group is procedurally unjust, their motivation to engage in group-serving behavior may increase. This article reports two studies in which college students’ identification with their university was measured and information about the procedural justice of the university was manipulated. Study 1 used an explicit measure of group identification and a deliberative measure of group-serving behavior. Study 2 used an implicit measure of group identification and both deliberative and spontaneous measures of group-serving behavior. The findings of both studies support the hypothesis that among people who are highly identified with a group, learning about the group’s injustice leads to short-term increases in group-serving behavior.
* * *