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Attribution of fairness judgments in the context of positive and negative allocation

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Title:
Attribution of fairness judgments in the context of positive and negative allocation
Creator:
Vemuri, Swarnalatha Rao
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Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
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x, 61 leaves : illustrations, forms ; 29 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Distributive justice ( lcsh )
Fairness ( lcsh )
Resource allocation ( lcsh )
Distributive justice ( fast )
Fairness ( fast )
Resource allocation ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 56-61).
Thesis:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Sociology
General Note:
Department of Sociology
Statement of Responsibility:
by Swarnalatha Rao Vemuri.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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|Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
36960084 ( OCLC )
ocm36960084
Classification:
LD1190.L66 1996m .V46 ( lcc )

Full Text
ATTRIBUTION OF FAIRNESS JUDGMENTS IN THE CONTEXT OF
POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE ALLOCATION
BY
Swamalatha Rao Vemuri
B.A., University of Madras
M.A., University of Madras
M.Phil., University of Bangalore
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Sociology
1996


This thesis for Master of Arts
degree by
Swamalatha Rao Vemuri
has been approved
by.

Date


Vemuri, Swarnalatha Rao (M.A., Sociology)
Attribution of Fairness Judgments in the Contexts of Positive and Negative
Allocation.
Thesis directed by Professor Kjell Tornblom.
ABSTRACT
This study compares four justice principles in the allocation of positive
and negative resources based on the framework of the attribution theory. The
main focus is the influence of the independent variable rank consisting of five
categories, on choices of the justice principle.
The study uses the vignette technique and was conducted on the
Denver campus of the University of Colorado. Two hundred questionnaires
were distributed to a sample consisting of full, associate, and assistant
professors, and graduate and undergraduate students.
The findings show that the need principle was highly endorsed.
Contrary to literature, the results did not support self presentational concerns
nor the politeness principle as explanations for endorsements on fairness
principles. Equality ranked as the second most preferred principle for positive
rather than for negative outcome allocation. Equity was preferred more for
positive than for negative outcomes. Inv. equity was endorsed to a higher
extent for negative than for positive outcomes.
IV


This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's
v


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
My thanks to my advisor Dr. Kjell Tornblom for
his patience, support and understanding during
the program.
My deepest gratitude, appreciation and thanks
to Dr. Srinivasan and family for their
encouragement, computer assistance and
hospitality during my educational program.


CONTENTS
Tables .........................................................x
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION.................................................1
Justice....................................................1
Social and Distributive Justice............................3
The Equity Principle.......................................6
The Equality Principle.....................................7
The Need Principle.........................................8
The Multi Principle Approach...............................8
2. REVIEW OF LITERATURE.........................................10
Allocation Preference Theory..............................11
Attribution Theory........................................12
Status Value Theory.......................................14
Positive vs. Negative Views...............................16
VII


Hypotheses.............................................19
Fairness Evaluations....................................19
Attributions About Others...............................21
3. METHODOLOGY................................................24
Subjects................................................24
The Instrument..........................................25
Procedure............................................. 28
4. RESULTS....................................................29
5. DISCUSSION.................................................35
Summary Of Findings.....................................36
Conclusions............................................ 39
Positive vs. Negative................................39
High vs. Low.........................................40
External vs. Internal................................40
Limitations of the Study................................41
Additional Findings.....................................42
Suggestions for Future Research.........................43
VIII


APPENDICES
A. Tables................................................45
B. Human Research Committee Review.......................49
C. Consent Form..........................................50
D. Questionnaire.........................................51
BIBLIOGRAPHY...................................................56
IX


TABLES
Tables
4.1 Results of the Analysis of Variance
of All Four Justice Principles by Rank........................29
4.2 Mean Evaluations of Four Justice Principles
by Five Status Groups.........................................30
4.3 Observed Frequencies for Total Rank, Positive
and Negative Allocations......................................31
A.1 Mean Values for All Four PrinciplesPositive Outcomes.........45
A.2 Means Table for Four PrinciplesNegative Outcomes.............45
A.3 Observed Frequencies for UndergraduatePositive Outcomes....46
A.4 Observed Frequencies for FullPositive Outcomes.............46
A.5 Observed Frequencies for UndergraduatesNegative............47
A.6 Observed Frequencies for FullNegative Outcomes.............47
A.7 Results of Paired t-Tests.....................................48
x


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
This vignette study examines some basic issues in the context of
distributive justice.
1. it compares peoples fairness judgments of four allocation rules used in
the distribution of positive and negative resources (goods vs. bad, benefits
vs. harms).
2. It examines the degree of consistency between people's fairness
judgments, preferences, norms and behavioral intentions (i.e., what
allocation principle people think is fair, which principle they prefer, which
principle they think ought to be used, and which principle they would
actually chose.
3. It examines one's own behavioral intentions attributed to others of higher,
same and lower status regarding the application of four fairness principles.
Justice
The term justice is here used synonymously with the word fairness.
Unjust treatment suggests that one's moral rights have been violatedin
particular that one has been made to suffer some burden one had a right to
avoid or has been denied some benefit or had a right to posses (Arthur and
Shaw, 1968, p.3).
1


In his Nichomachean ethics Aristotle (trans. 1962) argues that justice
alone of all virtues is thought to be good of another, because it is a relation to
our fellow men in that it does what is of advantage to others, either to a ruler
or to a fellow member of society (p. 114). He later adds that justice is
exercised in the distribution of goods such as wealth and other divisible
goods, not all goods but those that bring about prosperity or adversity (p.117).
The unjust man tries to grasp anothers good that which belongs to his
neighbor.
The view that justice is to be located in the pattern of distribution of
things (goods, possessions, services) is one found most frequently among
egalitarians and utilitarians, says Derek Phillips (1979). With egalitarian
theories of justice, things are to be distributed equally, whereas with utilitarian
theories, they are to be distributed in such a way as to maximize the
aggregate or average level of happiness or satisfaction (p.76). The American
philosopher John Rawls (1971), whose scholarly work, A theory of justice, is
of interest to the researcher because of its emphasis on social justice, says,
Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of
thought. He formulated two principles:
First, each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic
liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others.
Second: social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that
they are both a) reasonably expected to be to everyone's advantage,
and b) attached to positions and offices open to all. (p. 60)
2


Social and Distributive Justice
Arthur and Shaw (1978, p. 5) make a distinction between social and
distributive justice. Although social and distributive justice are concerned with
how things are distributed, distributive justice is identified more with economic
justice which is only a part of social justice. Social justice involves political,
legal, economic and social issues of a society.
Social philosopher Robert Nozick (1974) bases his arguments on the
libertarian approach in contrast to Rawls theory. In Anarchy, state and utopia
he says,
The term distributive justice is not a neutral one. Hearing the term
distribution, most people presume that some thing or mechanism
uses some principle or criterion to give out a supply of things. Into this
process of distributing shares some error may have crept. So it is an
open question, at least, whether redistribution should take place;
whether we should do again what has already been done once, though
poorly. However, we are not in the position of children who have been
given portions of pie by someone who now makes last-minute
adjustments to rectify careless cutting. There is no central distribution,
no person or group entitled to control all resources, (jointly) deciding
how they are to be doled out. What each person gets, he gets from
others who give him in exchange for something or as a gift. In a free
society, diverse persons control different resources, and new holdings
arise out of the voluntary exchanges and actions of persons. There is
no more a distributing or distribution of shares than there is a
distributing of mates in a society in which persons choose whom they
shall marry. The total result is the product of many individual decisions
which the different individuals involved are entitled to make. (p. 149)
Distributive justice is restricted to the distribution of economic benefits
provided the rules of the game are fair. The concept of distributive justice
centers on the fairness of the distribution of the conditions and goods that
affect individual well-being, says Morton Deutsch (1985, p. 2) in his
introduction to Distributive Justice: A Social Psychological Perspective.
3


Concerns about distribution have been voiced since biblical times.
Needs were prioritized in the distributed process. In the Acts it says and all
who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their
possession and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need (21:44-
45). Gilbert (1936, p. 35) observes that Aristotles writing seemed to have
strong egalitarian strains although in reality his approach was purely
meritarian goods ought to be distributed not by arithmetic but by geometric
proportionproportionate equality. In his Politics (trans. 1943) Aristotle adds
All men think justice to be some sort of equality (p.149). Needs and merits
were also considered to be important in distributive justice. In distributive
justice a person receives all the more of common goods, according as he
holds a more prominent position in the country (Schumacher, 1949, p. 59).
John Ryan (1916, p. 243) proposed six canons of distributive justice:
the canon of equality, of needs, of effort and sacrifice, of productivity, of
scarcity and human welfare. Other writers have drawn up similar lists
including -to each according to his virtue, effort, contribution, agreements,
needs and society rules.
Rescher (1966, p. 82) criticizes these canons as being hyperexclusive
and adds "distributive justice contains the treatment of people according to
the legitimate claims, positive and negative." While discussing the values
underlying distribution, Deutsch (1985) elaborates some of the thoughts of
Rescher:
Justice has been viewed as the treatment of all people:
a) so that they can have equal "inputs" (for example, so that each
student has equal educated resources available to him);
4


b) so that they have "equal outputs" (for example, so that each
student has the resources necessary to enable him to achieve a
given level of educational attainment even if some students require
more inputs than others);
c) according to their needs;
d) according to their ability or potential;
e) according to their effort and sacrifices;
f) according to their performance or their improvement in
performance;
g) according to the social value of their contributions;
h) according to the requirements of the common good;
I) so that none fall below a certain minimum;
j) according to what others choose for them; and
k) according to the principle of reciprocity, (p. 2)
Lerner (1975, p. 15) observes that there are really 6 forms of justice:
needs, parity, law, Darwinian justice, entitlements, social obligations equity
(i.e., proportionality), justified self interest.
There are three important factors that an adequate theory should take
into accountthe total amount of goods to be distributed, the pattern of
distribution, and distributing procedure, that is the principle of selection by
means of which the distribution is arrived at (Rescher, 1966, p. 87).
This study uses goods as the resource being distributed. Aristotle
fNichomachean ethics, trans. 1962, p.12) discusses that the term good has
obviously two different meanings: (1) things which are intrinsically good, and
(2) things that are good as being conducive to the intrinsically good". He
categorizes "good things are commonly divided into three classes (1) external
goods (2) goods of the soul and (3) goods of the body. Our study concerns
external goods. This study also focuses on the allocation of positive and
negative resources. The four distributive justice rules involved in this study
5


are the equity (or contribution) principle, a reversed equity principle, the
equality principle, and the needs principle.
Three rules of allocation which have been topics of theoretical and
empirical research are 1) to each according to their contributions (equity) 2) to
each according to their need (need), and 3) to each equally (equality).
The Equity Principle
Rising out of the Protestant Ethic the maxim "to each according to his
merit or contribution" provides the value framework of western capitalism
(Deutsch, 1985, p.9). "The essence of equity," says Folger (1986, p.146) "is
that across persons, there should be a comparable rate of compensation for
contribution to an exchange (an equivalent outcome/input ratio).
Inequity is said to exist for a person whenever he or she perceives that
the ratio of his or her own outcomes to inputs differs from the outcome-to-
input ratio of a comparison other. (Adams, 1965; Walster, 1973; Homans,
1974).
A mathematical definition of equity was proposed by Adams 1965
(P-281):
Op/lp = Oa/la
where Outcomes (O) are defined as "the scrutineer's perception of the
positive and negative consequences that participants have received in the
course of their relationship with one another." Inputs (I) are defined as "the
scrutineer's perception of the participants contributions to the exchange,
which are seen as entitling him to reward or cost". Inputs refer to assets such
6


as "ability", "productivity" or "effort which entitle him to rewards, benefits or
even the salary they receive or liabilities such as "incompetence", "disloyalty"
or "rebelliousness1 for which they should be penalized or deserve to suffer.
(Walster et al 1973; Austin and Hatfield, 1980; Tornblom 1992). If a person
p's ratio of outcomes (O) to inputs (I) is equal to that of person a then equity is
possible.
Equity was the "sovereign principle" in empirical justice research from
Homans and Adams in 1960 to Walster, Berscheid and Walster in 1973 until it
was challenged by those who suggested that need and equality outcomes are
alternative principles (Deutsch, 1975; Lerner, 1974,1975; Leventhal,
1976a, 1976b; Mikula and Schwinger, 1978; Sampson, 1975; and Homans,
1982). Morton Deutsch introduced two other major principles, equality and
need. The reversed equity principle however has been ignored by most
studies. The reversed equity principle, which is the opposite of the equity
principle, simply means that the higher the input, the lower the outcome; or
the more opportunity the less you should have.
The Equality Principle
Ryan (1916) defines equality "according to the rule of arithmetical equality, all
persons who contribute to the product should receive the same amount of
remuneration." (180-181) Homans (1976) for example, argues that equality
and equity norms are the same: "If persons are equal in contributions, then
their equality in reward meets the conditions of distributive (equity) justice;
ratio of contributions is still equal to the ratio of rewards" (p.232). For most
7


theorists however contributions are irrelevant for the equality principle. In
other words everyone receives the same regardless of the presence or the
difference between contributions.
The Need Principle
"To each according to his moral merit or need say the socialists of the
Utopian school. Rescher (1966, p. 75) explains that people come to this
world with different possessions, endowments and opportunities, the needs
principle professes to make them equal as possible. Walzer (1983, p 75)
expresses that the poor must be helped in proportion to their needs. "Hungry
men and women don't have to stage a performance or pass an exam or win
an election".
The Multi Principle Approach
The multi principle approach theorists visualized the operation of the
three justice principles in different situations singly or in combinations. Morton
Deutsch (1973, p.38) gives us some instances from his research
investigations:
1. In cooperative relations in which economic productivity is a primary
goal, equity rather than equality or need will be the dominant
principle of distributive justice.
2. In co-operative relations in which the fostering or maintenance of
enjoyable social relations is the common goal, equality will be the
dominant principle of distributive justice.
8


3. In cooperative relations in which the fostering of personal
development and personal welfare is the common goal, need will
be the dominant principle of distributive justice.
Lemer (1974), Leventhal (1976b), Sampson (1975), and Mikula and
Schwinger (1978) examine the interplay of all four justice principles
individually or simultaneously, among various relationships and situations.
The equity theorists argue that all four justice principles are different forms of
equity. But the multi-principle approach theorists disagree. The latter also
assume that individuals would like to solve allocation conflicts on a
consensual basis using generally accepted norms (Schwinger, 1980, 98).
This research study examines all three allocation principles (in addition
to the reversed equity principle) in the context of fairness judgments,
preferences, norms and behavioral intentions. The next chapter will examine
related studies and some interesting hypotheses.
9


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Allocation decisions occupy a central position in interaction
processes, says Mikula (1980, p. 127). Allocations may involve positive
resources such as rewards, rights, and honors and negative resources such
as costs, losses, burdens, deprivations, punishments, duties and obligations.
Foa (1971, p. 345-351) has classified resources distributed through
interpersonal encounters into six categories: love, status, information, money,
tangible goods and services. Positive and negative allocation can involve
different types, be accomplished with different intentions, or produce different
results. In this study the two modes of accomplishing positive and negative
allocation are delivery and withholding. Positive allocation is accomplished by
delivery, while negative allocation is accomplished by withholding resource.
Delivery refers to the act of presenting, transferring, handing, or giving
something; withholding is done by refraining from presenting something
(Tornblom, 1988, p. 149).
Allocation decisions result from choices among competing allocation
schemes, which may be thought of as social norms or decision rules
(Meeker, 1980, p.7). Distributive justice norms are of critical importance for
allocation problems, says Schwinger (1980, p. 96). However, the three
justice principles equality, contribution and need are criticized for being
10


abstract prescriptions for the way in which the actual allocation should be
carried out. All three principles pose problems in the application process. For
example how can an allocator decide which characteristics should be judged
as contribution or need (Mikula, 1980)?
The existing literature related to our study include three theoretical
strands:
1. Allocation preference theory.
2. Attribution theory and
3. Status value theory.
The following paragraphs discuss each of these strands.
Allocation Preference Theory
Leventhal, Karuza and Fry (1980, p. 175) define allocation preferences
as attitudinal responses to specific features of an allocation situation". They
make a distinction between distributive preference which are attitudes that
dispose an individual to favor certain distributions over others" and procedural
preferences which are attitudes that dispose the individual to certain
procedures over others. Our study is concerned with distribution preferences
only. Distribution can be based on performance matching, equality or needs-
matching (189).
Leventhal et al (1980) discuss two broad questions concerned with
fairness (1) how do perceivers evaluate fairness and (2) how does concern
about fairness influence behavior in allocation situations? Judgments of
fairness have two aspects: cognitive and motivational aspect. The cognitive
11


aspect can be analyzed from the justice judgment model and the
motivational aspect is not concerned with fairness but on other goals such as
self-interest etc. The allocation preference theory assumes that the
individuals goals shape his or her preferences and the desire for fairness is
one of the goals while the justice judgment model is more limited in scope,
and assumes that justice rules are the criteria for evaluating the fairness of a
distribution or procedure and the weight assigned to different rules is strongly
affected by goals such as the desire to stimulate productivity or preserve
harmony" (209). The individual has to go through a sequence of four
principles before arriving at an overall estimate of a deserved outcome.
Deserved outcome =WCD by contributions +WnD by needs = WCD by
equality = WCD by other rules where D stands for deservingness and W for
weight (Tornblom, 1992, p. 215).
Attribution Theory
Attribution theories grew out of a set of generalizations formulated by
Fritz Heider (1958). The term attribution refers to the process through which
an observer infers the causes of anothers behavior. Causality is derived
from the interaction of internal (disposition) versus external (situational)
factors. Actions are first observed and then an inference regarding the actors
intentionally is made. Attributions are made to the actor, object or context
according to the actors behavior. Success or failure is attributed to ability,
effort, task difficulty or luck. Heider termed the stable variable as "task
difficulty" and the unstable variable as luck.
12


Often, attribution biases or errors arise when observers overestimate
the causal impact of personal dispositions and underestimate situational
pressures and vice-versa. Self-serving biased attributions are made out of
several motives, needs, or for defensive purposes. Failures are attributed to
external causes and successes to personal dispositions.
The four factors ability, effort, task difficulty, and luck have been
grouped according to internality-extemality and stability-instability
dimensions. (Heider, 1958; Weiner etal., 1971; Utne and Kidd, 1980). Ability
is generally considered as internal and stable because it is a property and
because it does not change from time to time. Whereas effort is considered
as internal and unstable because it changes very often. Task difficulty on the
other hand is considered as external and stable and luck as external and
unstable. Heider's four causal factors were reduced to two factors (stability
and locus of causation) by Weiner et al (1974). Recognizing some of the
shortcomings of this classification Rosenbaum extended the taxonomy by
adding the intentionality dimension. Utne and Kidd (1980, p.73) cite two
reasons from Rosenbaum. First of all, people judge others intentions when
analyzing or interpreting behavior and secondly human behavior which is
internally caused is intentional and a part of the locus of control dimension.
Another aspect of the intentionality dimension is the fact that it explains why
some persons actions which are internally caused are held less accountable
while others are not. Laziness and illness are internally caused but an ill
person is less responsible for his action or inaction but not a lazy person.
13


Utne and Kidd (1980) recognized the importance of intentionality in the
causal attribution process because it emphasizes a personal causal
connection which again leads to greater attributions of responsibility to the
actor. If a person is the responsible for an inequitable distribution, other
individuals or he himself can rectify the situation.
The distinction between harm and benefit is one on which the classical
attribution theories (Heider, 1958a; Jones and Davies, 1965; Kelley,
1967, 1973) have on the whole been silent. Their tacit assumption has
been content-free attribution processes could explain reasoning about
harmful or beneficial outcomes quite indifferently. Although some
attribution studies (J.l. Shaw and Skolnick, 1971; M.E. Shaw and
Sulzer, 1964; Sloan, 1977) have in fact reported differences between
harm and benefit, these differences have not as yet attracted any
theoretical concern. (Schultz and Schleifer, 1983, p.58)
Status Value Theory
The status value theory of distributive justice is concerned with
evaluation of worth, esteem, or honor (Berger, 1972, p. 128). It has a set of
reference standards for justice evaluations. Inputs and rewards are viewed in
terms of their status values or prestige ratings. Berger et al (1972) and
Homans (1974) argue that people expect a corresponding link between the
status value of an actor and the rewards he receives.
A reward is considered just if it is proportional to the investments, and
this can be determined by comparing one actors' profit/investment ratio with
other individuals in the system. Comparisons are formulated in two ways. If
an individual compares himself to another individual the comparison is said to
be local. If an individual compares himself to generalized others the
14


comparison is said to be referential. The purpose of comparison is to define
the meaning that can be given to a particular reward (Berger 1971, p.123).
A stable frame of reference distinguishes local and referential
comparisons. A referential structure possesses these four components:
a) Generalized individuals
b) who possess given states of given characteristics
c) to which are associated given states of given goal objects.
d) where the characteristics and goal objects are all status valued.
(Berger, 1972, p.133)
According to the theory, the referential structure refers to the linkage
between social characteristics and rewards. The generalized other could be a
carpenter or professor. The given characteristics are his skills in comparison
with apprentices or students. Cook (1975) says that reward expectations may
rise from task expectations. In other words, fairness obtains "when you and I
receive what people like us generally get.
Hegtvedt and Markovsky (1995, p. 269) point out the major flaw in the
theory because it emphasizes comparisons between individuals and it
excludes general social standards by which evaluations can be made. For
instance an apprentice cannot be paid like a skilled carpenter, nor can a
newly recruited professor as an experienced professor. Referential
comparisons are too broad an umbrella under which individuals are judged -
they may feel over-rewarded or under-rewarded when they compare
themselves to others in similar situations.
Tornblom (1977) has integrated exchange theory and status value
theory and develops a typology of interpersonal comparisons with referential
standards while making justice evaluations.
15


Mikula (1980, p. 132) suggests three steps in the process of making
just allocation:
1 Choosing an allocation goal
2. Choosing a justice principle according to which the allocation shall be
carried out; and
3. Translating this principle into a concrete mode of allocation.
In choosing an allocation goal, the goals may vary according to the
allocators motives. They could be based on the desire to achieve fairness or
on self presentational concerns ( Mikula and Schwinger, 1973; Bradley,
1978).
In choosing a justice principle, the individual has to consider the
prerequisites required for the application of a particular principle, the
appropriateness for certain types of relationships and the consequences of
the application. For instance if solidarity and harmony is the goal, the equality
principle would be the most appropriate principle.
Our study is not concerned, however, with the third step in the
allocation process, which is carrying out the chosen justice principle.
Positive vs. Negative Views
Tomblom (1988, p. 141) deals with some issues on resource allocation
and distributive justice. He observes that "existing research is characterized
by imprecise terminology as well as inconsistent findings as to the
correspondence among allocation principles preferred for positive and
negative outcomes" He reviews eleven studies which deal with comparisons
16


between positive and negative allocations. He found that most studies
concentrated on the equality and contribution principles and there was a
lacuna of knowledge on negative allocation.
In two Dutch studies by Grumbkow and Wilke (1977 and Grumbkov
(1977) the contribution and equality principles received acceptance. The first
study by Grumbkov and Wilke (1977) showed that both fines and bonuses
were allocated according to contributions and in the second study by
Grumbkov (1977) there was a preference for equality for positive and
negative allocation. Hassebrauck (1985) studied German children between
the ages of four and six and found that four and five year olds opted for the
equality rule while six to seven year olds preferred the contribution rule.
Lamm and Kayser (1978) conducted a series of experiments with slight
variations. In the first study (1978a) equality of treatment was preferred to
contributions of ability and effort in both positive and negative allocations. In
the second study (1978b) equality was endorsed in the context of gains.
Another study by Lamm and Kayser (1980) showed a preference for equality
for losses, among upper level high school students.
In a similar study, Lamm, Kayser and Sanchez (1983) found that male
and female high school students endorsed the equality principle in both gains
and losses.
Schmitt and Montada (1982) examined the effects of resource type,
profession and social context on justice evaluations among 240 heterogenous
people. The results indicated that the need principle was recommended for
privileges and equality for both positive and negative outcome allocation.
17


Vignettes describing a hypothetical situation were presented by
Meeker and Elliott (1987) to respondents to allocate rewards and costs to five
research assistants. The experiment used a2X2X2X2X2 design with the
variables contribution, outcome, payoff versus reward and gender.
Respondents preferred the contribution rule in positive allocations and
equality in negative outcomes.
Tornblom and Jonsson (1985) examined the relationship among three
subrules" or forms of equality and contribution principles. The three subrules
were equality of treatment, equality of results, equality of opportunity and
contribution of productivity, effort and ability. A 2 X 2 X 2 design was
employed: mode of allocation (distribution vs. retribution) x actor relationship
(team vs. nonteam) x recipient unit (one vs. several persons). One hundred
and seventy five Swedish female students who participated in the study were
asked to rate the fairness of each positive or negative outcome allocation on
a five point scale ranging from 5 (very just) to 1 (very unjust) with 3 being
neutral. Results showed that distinctions were made more for subrules of
equality than contribution and that they were more differentiated in negative
rather than positive outcomes.
"Allocations may serve to create or alter differences in status and
power among the members of the social system," says Mikula. While
following a norm of distributive justice an allocator has several advantages.
One of them being presenting a just and fair image to the general public.
Mikula and Schwinger (1973) found that dyad members often made
allocations that were disadvantageous to themselves to present an image of
18


unselfishness, when performance contributions were made: According to their
investigations, people who made larger contributions, often made equal
allocation, persons who made smaller contributions allocated proportionately
according to contributions. Mikula and Schwinger termed it the 'politeness
ritual1. Their research demonstrated a perfect correlation between the need
for social approval and polite allocation. Based on their studies six
hypotheses were chosen for testing.
Hypotheses
The six hypotheses were based on two concerns: a sentient persons fairness
evaluations and their attributions about others.
Fairness Evaluations
Our first two hypotheses concerned a sentient persons fairness
evaluations of four justice principles and self-presentational concerns.
Hypothesis 1. Rank will be (a) inversely related to fairness evaluations
of the equity principle and (b) linearly related to fairness evaluations of the
equality principle in the context of allocating positive outcomes.
Thus, the higher the rank, the lower the fairness evaluation of the
equity principle and higher the evaluation for equality. The lower the rank, the
higher the fairness of the equity and the lower the evaluation of the equality in
the allocation of positive outcomes.
19


Due to self-presentational concerns people of high rank will chose the
equality principle to project an image of fairness in the allocation of positive
outcomes. While persons of low rank will chose the equity principle.
Shapiro (1970) in his study, Effect of expectations of future interaction
on reward alocations in dyads: Equity or Equality, found that subjects who
expect future interaction with one another, who would be affected by
allocation have greater self-presentational concerns which affect their
distribution of rewards. High input allocators chose the equality principle
when future interaction was expected and the equity principle when no future
interaction was expected. Our study however tests rank and evaluations of
fairness, in positive as well as negative outcome allocations.
Hypothesis 2. Rank will be (a) linearly related to fairness evaluations
equity principle and (b) inversely related to fairness evaluations of the equality
principle in the context of allocating negative outcomes.
Thus the higher the rank the higher the fairness evaluation for equity
and the lower the evaluation for equality. The lower the rank the higher the
fairness evaluation of equality and the lower the evaluation of the equity
principle in the context of allocating negative outcomes.
People of high rank will chose the equity principle in the allocation of
negative outcomes to present an image of fairness. People of lower rank will
chose the equality principle in the context of allocating negative outcomes.
20


Attributions About Others
Our next four hypotheses concerned a sentient person's attributions
about others' (of higher and lower rank) behavioral intentions, i.e., their likely
choices among four justice principles.
Hypothesis 3. Low-rank persons will think that most higher-ranked
persons would endorse the equity principle (i.e.; make internal bases of
deservingness salient) in the context of allocating positive outcomes.
Bradley (1978) examined self-serving biases or attributions. Individuals
generally took credit for positive outcomes and denied credit for negative
outcomes for fear of embarrassment when publicly viewed. This was to fulfill
their self-esteem needs. The role of attributions has been further augmented
by Utne and Kidd (1980) in distributive justice.
Utne and Kidd (1980) critique equity theory because it does not take
other forms of justice into consideration. Attribution theory on the other hand,
provides better conceptual tools for understanding the more complex forms of
justice. Heider's (1976) research concluded that a persons actions and
outcomes of his actions rise from interactions of internal and external factors.
Ability and effort are considered internal causes while luck and task difficulty
are considered external actions.
Uray (1974, 1976) found that those allocators who opted for the equity
principle generally attributed the size of their contributions to internal causes
such as ability or luck and those who attributed them to situational factors
21


such as task difficulty or luck opted for the equality principle. Kropf (1977)
came to the same conclusions in the case of distribution and retribution and
Cohen (1974) among members of dyads.
The above hypothesis is based upon attribution of self-interest i.e.; the
self-serving attribution bias. It states that persons of low status will think that
people of higher status would opt for the equity principle on the basis of
internal causes (differences in effort or ability) in the allocation of positive
resources.
Hypothesis 4. High rank persons will think that most lower ranked
persons would endorse the equality principle in the context of allocating
positive outcomes.
Similarly, people of higher status would think that people of lower
status would opt for the equality principle on the basis of situational factors
such as task difficulty or luck and not because of internal factors such as
ability or effort in the allocation of positive resources.
Hypothesis 5. Low rank persons will think that most higher ranked
persons would endorse the equality principle in the context of allocating
negative outcomes.
In the case of negative resources, the scenario is different. People of
lower status would think that people of higher status would opt for the equality
22


principle in negative outcomes to present an image of fairness thus attributing
the disparity to situational factors such as task difficulty and luck.
Hypothesis 6. High-rank persons will think that most lower ranked
persons would endorse the equity principle in the context of allocating
negative outcomes.
Again, in the case of the allocation of negative resources, people of
high status would think that people of lower status would opt for the equity
principle on the basis of their effort or ability as this would be to their
advantage.
23


CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY
The role of empirical inquiry in the quest for a theory of distributive
justice has often been questioned. Frohlich and Oppenheimer (1991, p. 11)
advocated empirical methods because it involves impartial reasoning in
determining rules for just distributions. They state that in ethical theory, the
tradition of impartial reasoning forms the basis for achieving moral
knowledge. Although this study does not profess any profound moral
philosophy it attempts to base its arguments on the impartial reasoning of its
respondents. It evolves round the Rawlsian notion that individuals are rational
and self-interested and will therefore make appropriate choices. It also
assumes that the situation or society in question is one of moderate scarcity
and resources are limited; but, unlike the individuals in Rawls society, the
subjects in our study are not totally under the veil of ignorance.
Subjects
Subjects were undergraduate, graduate and faculty members on the
University of Colorado-Denver Campus. A hundred respondents were
randomly assigned to positive allocation and another hundred to negative
allocation. One sample consisted of undergraduate and graduate students,
24


and a second sample included faculty members such as full, associate and
assistant professors. The data were collected in the spring semester of 1995
between February and April.
The instrument of data collection was a questionnaire and these were
distributed to 50 respondents in each category: undergraduates, graduates,
full, associate and assistant professors. Time allotted for completion of the
questionnaire was 15 minutes. The questionnaire contained only 22
questions.
Sixty-eight females, and one hundred and thirty males participated in
the study. Ages ranged from 18 to 60 years with a mean of 40.
The Instrument
There were two versions of the questionnaire, one for the allocation of
positive resources and one for the allocation of negative resources. The
goods which were used as resources is free Photostat copies. Positive
distribution is accomplished by delivery which is conceived as gain, and
negative distribution is accomplished by withholding the resource which is a
loss to the individual.
The vignette technique has been applied because it helps in
understanding the principles underlying judgements of the more complex
issues of distributive justice. A vignette describing a hypothetical situation at
the University is presented at the beginning of each questionnaire. The
25


budget for Photostat copying at a particular university has been increased in
the case of positive distribution and decreased in the case of negative
distribution. Discussion concerning the fairest way of distributing copies
among the faculty and students end with some proposals. Questions were
asked if positive and negative resource allocation should be based on (a)
reversed equity, (b) equity, (c) equality or (d) need. Should individuals of a
higher rank receive less, or more or should the distribution of free Photostat
copies be based on equality or need. All questions are self contained and
appropriate for a self-administered questionnaire. The first set of questions
were about what allocation principle they think is fair, which principle they
think ought to be used and which principle they would actually chose. The
respondents are asked to circle any of the four choices a, b, c, or d. A closed-
ended question is used because the categories are distinct and only four in
number.
Next the respondents are asked to describe on a seven-point scale
how fair or just is each one of the allocation principle In the likert method of
ratings, seven categories are provided for each item ranging from perfectly
fair to totally unfair with the midpoint being neutral. These categories are
scored 7,6,5,4,3,2,1 respectively.
The next set of questions focuses on what factors should have the
greatest influence on decision-making? Attribution questions concerning what
respondents think the full, associate, assistant, graduate student and
26


undergraduate would chose among the four categories were asked after the
questions related to fairness judgements, preferences, norms. There are five
questions related to this issue pertaining to each group of respondents with
four choices a, b, c or d.
The third set of questions related to the persons age, sex, years of
education if a student, graduate or undergraduate. Faculty members were
asked about their years of experience and if rank had any influence on their
fairness judgements. Only age was an open-ended question.
Both students and faculty were asked about their political
preference/affiliation to find out if they had leftist right, moderate or any other
preference which might influence their fairness judgements. This is a close
ended question measuring a nominal variable. The categories are exhaustive
and mutually exclusive.
Finally all respondents were asked to explain what they meant by
unfairness or injustice in their own words. The question is open-ended
because it is used to elicit the respondents views and philosophy on justice.
The open-ended form was preferred because it provided accurate and
detailed answers and to determine if anything important is omitted in the
study although more time is lost in coding and data-processing.
27


Procedure
Initially a letter of request for permission to use human subjects for the
study had to be submitted to the Human Subjects Research Committee at the
University of Colorado at Denver. The data collection began only after the
request was approved.
Each questionnaire had a cover letter with an introductory statement
(see Appendix C) explaining the subjects rights in participating in the study
and legitimizing the study itself. The respondents were also assured
confidentiality as specified in the Human Subjects Research Committee.
With the permission of different professors I went to their respective
classes and handed the questionnaires to students who volunteered to take
part in the study. Some of the professors let the students answer the
questions immediately but others let the students answer the questionnaires
after class, collected them and returned them to me the following day.
28


CHAPTER 4
RESULTS
This study examines the relationship between rank and judgements of
fairness in the distribution of positive and negative resources. Initially, four
separate one-way analyses of variance were computed for the four major
dependent variables. The details of these findings presented in Table 4.1
show that the interaction between equity and rank are significant in both
positive and negative outcomes: Positive F (4,92) = 3.60, p<.05; Negative
F(4,94) 3.26p>.05. Inv. equity is significant only in the category Total: Total
F(1,197) 4.232p<.05. All other interactions are not significant.
Table 4.1 Results of the Analysis of Variance of All Four Justice Principles by
Rank
Variables Negative Positive Total
Equity F = 3.60 (4,92) F = 3.26 (4,94) F = 1.544 (1,197)
p = .001 p =.01 n.s.
Inv. Equity F = .850 (4,92) F = .480 (4,94) F =4.232 (1,197)
n.s. n.s. P =.04
Equality F= 1.011(4,94) F = .332 (4,94 F = .290 (1,197)
n.s. n.s. n.s.
Need F = .579 (4,90) F = 1.216 (4,94) F = 1.238 (1,197)
n.s. n.s. n.s.
Note: The numbers in parentheses are degrees of freedom. The letters n.s. denote not significant.
29


Table 4.2 shows that the need principle was the most preferred among
positive and negative allocations (positive 5.78, negative 5.54). Equality
ranked as the second most preferred principle in the allocation of positive and
negative outcomes (positive 5.18, negative 5.29). Equity was more preferred
in the allocation of positive outcomes than in negative outcomes (positive
2.88, negative 2.60). Inv. equity was more endorsed in the negative
allocations than in positive allocations (negative 2.65, positive 2.20).
Table 4.2 Mean Evaluations of Four Justice Principles by Five Status Groups
Principle Equity Inv. Equity Equality Need
Positive 2.88 2.20 5.18 5.78
Negative 2.60 2.65 5.29 5.54
Observed frequencies of fairness evaluations were tabulated for each
category (Table 4.3). In the allocation of positive outcomes, the need principle
was highly endorsed by each category (full = 14, associate = 15, assistants
10, grad = 10, undergraduate = 12, total = 61). The next most highly endorsed
principle among the five categories was equality (total = 31). Inv. equity was
not preferred at all among the full or associate professors (full = 0, associate
= 0). Equity was not endorsed at all by full professors, associate professors or
undergraduates.
In the allocation of negative outcomes, need and equality were most
highly endorsed (equality = 50, need = 36). Inv. equity was least endorsed
(total = 4). Need was endorsed mostly by full associate and assistant
30


professors (full professor = 9, associate = 10, assistant = 5), Equality was
highly endorsed by assistant professors (11), graduates (11) and
undergraduates (13). Equity was not endorsed at all by full or associate
professors (full = 0, associate = 0).
Table 4.3 Observed Frequencies for Total Rank, Positive and Negative
Allocations
Rules Rank
Full Assoc. Assist Grad Under Total
+ + + + + +
Equity 0 0 0 0 1 3 3 3 0 1 4 5
Inv. Equity - 0 0 0 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 4 4
Equality 6 6 5 9 7 11 6 11 7 13 31 50
Need 14 9 15 10 10 5 10 5 12 7 61 36
Total 20 15 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 22 100 96
Paired comparisons (t-tests) were computed for all four justice
principles in the allocation of positive and negative resources (See Table A.7
Appendix A). In the allocation of positive resources all comparisons are
statistically significant. But in the allocation of negative resources there is no
significant difference in the paired comparisons (1) equity and inv. equity,
t = -.243, df = 99, p>.80 and (2) equality and need. t=-1.204, df = 97, p>.23.
Hypothesis 1 predicts that (1) rank will be inversely related to fairness
judgements of the equity principle and linearly related to fairness judgements
of the equality principle. The mean values (Table A.1, Appendix A) were
31


computed for all four distribution rules (equity, inv. equity, equality and need)
among all five groups (full, associate, assistant, graduate and
undergraduate). The data in Table 4.1 indicate that hypothesis 1 is only
partially supported. The mean for equity is lowest among full professors (1.80)
in comparison to the mean values of the other ranks. But part two of the
hypothesis is not supported because the mean values for full professors and
assistants are low (5.00) for the equality rule in comparison to other groups
(Table A.1, Appendix A). Thus the higher the rank the lower the mean for
equity and lower the mean for equality (t=-10.91, df = 98, p<.0001; see Table
A.1, Appendix A).
Table A.2, Appendix A, shows fairness evaluations of the five groups
among four distribution principles in the allocation of negative resources.
Hypothesis 2 which states that the higher the rank the higher the mean for
equity and lower the mean for equality is not confirmed because the mean
values for full professor and undergraduates according to the equity rule is
lower (2.60) compared to the other groups. According to the equality rule the
mean values for the higher rank (5.20) is not the lowest. Thus the higher the
rank the moderately low the mean for equity and low the mean for equality
(t=-11.83, df = 99, p<.0001; see Table A.7, Appendix A).
Hypothesis 3 proposes that low rank persons will think that most higher
rank persons would endorse the equity principle (i.e., make internal bases of
deservingness salient) in the context of allocating positive outcomes. Table
32


A.3 (see Appendix A) which shows observed group frequencies do not
confirm the hypothesis that undergraduates would think that full professors
would chose the equity principle in the context of allocating positive
resources. Most undergraduates believed that most full professors would
chose the equality or need principle (equality = 8; need = 8).
Hypothesis 4 which states that high rank persons will think that most
low ranked persons would endorse the equality principle in the context of
allocating positive outcomes is not confirmed because, as Table A.4 (see
Appendix A) shows, the observed frequencies for full professors beliefs about
undergraduates choice is 14 for equity and only 2 for equality. Thus as
illustrated in the table full professors would think that most undergraduates
would chose the equity principle.
Table A.5 (Appendix A) shows that findings fail to support hypothesis
5. Hypothesis 5 states that low rank persons will think that most high ranked
persons would endorse the equality principle (i.e., make external causes
salient) in the context of allocating negative outcomes. Table A.5 shows that
most undergraduates would think that most full professors would endorse the
need principle (observed frequencies equality = 5; need = 7).
Hypothesis 6 states that high rank persons would think that low rank
person endorse the equity principle in the context of allocating negative
outcomes. The hypothesis is confirmed because, as Table A.6 (see Appendix
33


A) shows, most full professors would think that most undergraduates would
chose the equity principle (observed frequencies equity = 12).
34


CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION
This study was constructed on the framework of three theories
allocation preference theory, attribution theory and status value theory. The
allocation preference theory views the individual as an organized system of
motives ( or values), attitudes or characteristics some of which constitute the
basis of human behavior. (Leventhal et al., 1980, p.200). The attribution
theory interprets human behavior as an interaction of external and internal
factors with other influences such as intentionality. In the status value theory
comparisons are made according to a person's worth and any discrepancy in
rewards causes tensions. A high or low status persons expects just rewards.
A situation is considered just or equitable when rewards are proportional to
their costs and investments (Homans, 1961; Berger, 1972; Tornblom ,1992)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between
two sets of variables:
1. rank as an independent variable, and
2. the four justice principles (equity, inv. equity, equality and need) as
dependent variables.
35


In this study five groups of respondents (full, associate and assistant
professors, graduate and undergraduate students) were asked to chose one
of four justice principles in the allocation of positive or negative resources.
Summary of Findings
The following paragraphs discuss the results for each of the six
hypotheses.
1. Rank is inversely related to fairness judgments of the equity
principle but not linearly related to the equality principle in the allocation of
positive outcomes. Thus the higher the rank, the lower the fairness evaluation
of the equity principle (see Table A.1 in Appendix A) and the lower the rank
the higher the fairness evaluation of the equality principle. Contrary to the
studies which support self-presentational concerns (Bradley, 1978), our study
has disproved that the high ranked person will endorse the equality principle
to project an image of unselfishness. Curiously (as shown by Table 4.3,
Chapter 4) full and associate professors in particular endorsed the need
principle, rather than equity or equality.
2. In the allocation of negative outcomes, rank is not linearly related to
fairness evaluations of equity and not inversely related to fairness evaluations
of equality. Our findings (Table A.2, Appendix A) indicate that there is no
difference among ranks regarding the mean for equity or the equality
principles.
36


The data from the study failed to support the politeness principle
proposed by Mikula and Schwinger (1973). Schwinger cites evidence from
studies by Kahn, Lamm and Nelson (1977) and Mikula (1972) in which an
allocator had to demonstrate his politeness and modesty by choosing an
allocation which was not to his advantage for fear of being rated negatively or
accused of being unjust. However, our study did not support the politeness
principle proposed by Mikula and Schwinger. The reasons could have been
twofold: (1) the introduction of two other justice principles, inv. equity and
need, besides equality, and/or (2) the introduction of the variable rank.
The literature on attribution theory suggests that
self-serving attributions frequently may be viewed as public self-
presentations designed to maximize public esteem, and that certain
circumstances, such as self-esteem needs may be best served by
accepting responsibility for negative outcomes. (Bradley, 1978, p.64)
Research on the self-serving bias indicates that there is a tendency for people
to attribute one's own desirable or positive outcomes to internal factors such
as effort and/or ability. Respondents in a study by Mikula commented that if
their contribution was smaller than their partners, it was merely by accident
but if their contribution were greater, it was said to be a result of effort and/or
ability differences.
3. The prediction that low rank persons will think that most high rank
persons would endorse the equity principle (as they are believed to take
credit for positive outcomes on the basis of internal factors such as effort or
ability) in the context of allocating positive resources was not confirmed. A
37


study by Thibaut and Reicken (1955) found that in the case of high status
person compliant behavior was attributed to internality and the same
'compliant behavior of a low status person was attributed to externality. The
low status person was more susceptible to external influence.
4. High rank persons will think that most low rank persons would
endorse the equality principle (the latter ascribing high rank persons their
positive outcomes to external factors such as task difficulty or luck but not
effort or ability) was not supported. Contrary to the literature our study found
that high rank persons will not think that most low rank persons would
endorse the equality principle (making external causes salient, thus judging
internal basis of deservingness irrelevant) in the context of allocating positive
outcomes. Thus our findings do not support the phenomenon of self-serving
bias.
5. Low rank persons will not think that most high rank persons would
endorse the equality principle (i.e., make external causes salient, thus judging
internal bases of deservingness irrelevant) in the context of allocating
negative outcomes.
6. High rank persons will not think that most low rank persons would
endorse the equity principle (i.e., make internal bases of deservingness
salient) in the context of allocating negative outcomes. Others negative
outcomes are not attributed to internal factors such as effort and task
difficulty.
38


Conclusions
In conclusion, the results of pur study can be viewed from three
different perspectives: positive vs. negative, high vs. low, and external vs.
internal.
Positive vs. Negative
A few researchers made a distinction between the allocation of
positive and negative outcomes. Steensma, Von Grumbkov and Wilke (1977)
found that equity was the preferred allocation principle in both gains and
losses.
Tdrnblom and Jonsson (1985) on the contrary found that equality was
preferred in retributive situations on cooperative and competitive tasks and
was judged as resulting from effort rather than ability. A second study by
Tornblom (1987) showed that equity was the preferred principle in both
contribution and retribution situations. Both studies made a distinction
between positive and negative allocations but failed to take other justice
principles such as inverted equity and need into account.
Griffith and Sell (1988) tested the effects of completion in contributive
and retributive settings and found that there was a stronger preference for
equity in retributive situations.
Our study found that need was more endorsed among positive and
negative allocations.
39


High vs. Low
Karen Hegdvedt has observed that high performers in a group had a
tendency to prefer equitable distributions but low performers preferred
equality.
Similarly individuals advantaged by a distribution (e.g., powerful or high
status actors) typically judge the distribution to be more fair than those
disadvantaged by it (Cook and Hegtvedt, 1986; Stolte, 1987). These
patterns of distribution preferences and evaluations support mutual self
interests of group members based on their relative structural positions.
(P-159)
According to our study equity was not endorsed at all by full or
associate professors in both positive and negative allocations. Equality was
endorsed by assistant professors, graduates and undergraduates in negative
allocations.
External vs. Internal
Feather and Simon (1971) found that persons with better performance
attributed the difference to external factors (e.g., chance )while persons with
smaller contribution spoke of internal factors, (e.g., effort). These findings
support the politeness principle.
Tornblom comments that
attribution theory would also make the same prediction for positive and
negative outcome allocation. If the acquisition of (positive or negative)
outcome is attributed to external factors, equal allocation would be
considered fair; if internal factors are seen as responsible, equitable
40


allocation would be seen as the most just solution to the distribution
problem, (p. 64)
But in our study both the attribution theory and the politeness principle were
not supported possibly because of the introduction of the variable rank.
Limitations of the Study
No doubt there are some limitations to this study. The fact that the
sample was restricted to the staff and students of University of Colorado at
Denver (UCD) is a delimiting factor because the sample is not too
representative. The staff and students of UCD may differ from those of a
community college or a private school setting. In terms of the institutional
setting, chances are that the results may have varied in a corporate setting or
military setting.
The transacted resource goods or to be more specific free Photostat
copies may have produced these results rather than any other resource such
as status, money or information.
The fact that there was only positive or negative allocation rather than
neutrality could have confounded the results.
Despite these limitations there have been some additional, significant
findings.
41


Additional Findings
Rank orders among the four allocation principles for all five categories
in the context of positive and negative outcome allocation were also
discovered in the research process.
A. In the allocation of positive resources most full professors (14)
chose the need principle.
B. In the allocation of negative resources most full professors (9) also
chose the need principle.
C. In the allocation of positive resources most associate professors
(15) chose the need principle .
D. In the allocation of negative resources most associates chose (10)
the need principle.
E. In the allocation of positive resources most assistants (10) chose
the need principle.
F. In the allocation of negative resources most assistants chose the
need principle.
G. In the allocation of positive resources most graduates (10) chose
the need principle.
H. In the allocation of negative resources most graduates (11) chose
the equality principle.
I. In the allocation of positive resources most undergraduates chose
equality and the need principle (equality = 8, need = 8).
42


J. in the allocation of negative resources most undergraduates (13)
chose the equality principle.
Suggestions for Future Research
Following these findings, data could be further analyzed and additional
studies could be designed to test the following hypotheses:
1. When people make predictions for their own behavior, a high rank
person will endorse the equality principle while the same person will think that
people of higher rank would select the equity principle in the allocation of
positive resources.
2. When people make predictions for their own behavior, a high rank
person will endorse the equality principle while the same person will think that
a high rank person would select the equity in the allocation of negative
resources.
3. When people make predictions for their own behavior a high rank
person will endorse the equality principle while the same person will think that
a low rank person would select the equality principle in the allocation of
positive resources.
4. When people make predictions for their own behavior, a high rank
person will endorse the equity principle while the same person will think that a
low rank person would select equity principle in the context of allocating
negative resources.
43


5. When people make attributions a low rank person will endorse the
equity principle while the same person will think that a person of high rank will
endorse the equity in positive allocations.
6. When people make attributions for their own behavior a low rank
person will endorse the equality principle while the same person will think that
a high rank person will chose the equality principle in positive allocations.
7. When people make attributions for their behavior, a low rank
person will endorse the equity principle while the same person will think that a
low rank person will endorse the equality principle in the allocation of negative
resources.
8. When people make attributions for their own behavior, a low rank
person will endorse the equality principle while the same person will think that
low rank persons will endorse the equity principle in the context of allocating
negative resources.
44


APPENDIX A
TABLES
Table A.1 Mean Values for All Four PrinciplesPositive Outcomes
Rank Equity Inv. Equity Equality Need
Full 1.80 3.13 5.00 5.40
Associate 2.20 2.40 5.40 5.47
Assistant 2.20 2.75 5.00 6.00
Grad 3.40 2.80 5.80 5.42
Undergrad 3.00 2.23 5.32 5.54
Table A.2 Means Table for Four PrinciplesNegative Outcomes
Rank Equity Inv. Equity Equality Need
Full 2.60 2.26 5.20 6.20
Associate 2.40 1.85 4.95 6.00
Assistant 2.85 2.25 5.30 5.30
Grad 4.05 2.21 5.05 5.47
Undergrad 2.60 2.45 5.40 5.90
45


Table A.3 Observed Frequencies for UndergraduatePositive Outcomes
Rank Equity Inv. Equity Equality Need TOTALS
Full 0 4 8 8 20
Associate 1 3 12 4 20
Assistant 0 3 8 9 20
Grad 1 6 5 8 20
Undergrad 0 4 8 8 20
TOTALS 2 20 41 37 100
Table A.4 Observed Frequencies for Full Positive Outcomes
Rank Equity Inv. Equity Equality Need TOTALS
Full 7 0 8 5 20
Associate 5 0 11 3 19
Assistant 10 0 7 3 20
Grad 17 1 2 0 20
Undergrad 14 1 2 3 20
TOTALS 53 2 30 14 99
46


Table A.5 Observed Frequencies for UndergraduatesNegative
Rank Equity Inv. Equity Equality Need TOTALS
Full 0 3 5 7 15
Associate 0 2 7 8 17
Assistant 1 3 7 7 18
Grad 1 8 5 6 20
Undergrad 1 4 12 5 22
TOTALS 3 20 36 33 92
Table A.6 Observed Frequencies for Full Negative Outcomes
Rank Equity Inv. Equity Equality Need TOTALS
Full 8 0 4 3 15
Associate 6 1 7 3 17
Assistant 5 2 7 4 18
Grad 11 3 4 2 20
Undergrad 12 1 4 5 22
TOTALS 42 7 26 17 92
47


Table A.7 Results of Paired t-Tests
POSITIVE
Principles Mean Diff. DF t-Value p-Value
Equity, Inv. Equity .687 98 3.951 .0001
Equity, Equality -2.293 98 -10.910 <.0001
Equity, Need -2.889 98 -12.248 <.0001
Inv. Equity, Equality -2.980 98 -15.735 <.0001
Inv. Equity, Need -3.579 98 -16.419 <.0001
Equality, Need -.596 98 -.596 .00056
NEGATIVE
Principles Mean Diff. DF t-Value p-Value
Equity, Inv. Equity -.050 99 -.243 .8089 n.s.
Equity, Equality -2.690 99 -11.836 <.0001
Equity, Need -2.690 97 -12.662 <.0001
Inv. Equity, Equality -2.640 99 10.954 <.0001
Inv. Equity, Need -2.878 97 -12.825 <.0001
Equality, Need -.276 97 -1.204 .2314 n.s.
Notes: Hypothesized Difference = 0
The letters n.s. denote not significant, n
48


Appendix B
10/92
HUMAN RESEARCH COMMITTEE REVIEW
(NOTE: If exemption or expedited review Is requested, please enclose three copies of this form. If full
review of the research is requested, please enclose six copies of this form. Forms should be sent to: Mark
Yarborough, Department of Philosophy, CU-Denver, Box 179,1050 9th Street)
PROJECT TITLE: fiWvT\v-VTe-< Vo,
rjstry-Vt r^w.t O/uwO-e- C-NNpcjyy.Ov,
2. Project description as it relates to human beinos.. Please describe the project briefly,
including subject population, recruitment, and procedures to be used; attach
questionnaire or interview questions if appropriate.
3. Consent forms. Please attach a copy of the consent form you will be using. The
following points must be included in a consent form:
a) A dear explanation of the procedures to be followed and their purposes, inducting
identification of any experimental procedures.
b) A dear description of any discomfort or risks reasonably to be expected.
c) An offer to answer any questions regarding the research, both during and after
their research is completed.
d) An instruction that the person is free to withdraw his/her consent and discontinue
participation at any time without prejudice.
e) An instruction that questions concerning rights as a subject may be directed to
the Office of Sponsored Programs, CU-Denver, Campus Box 123, P.O. Box
173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364, telephone 556-2771.
f) Signature of subject (For subjects below the age of 18, or for mentally ill or
retarded persons, signature of parents or guardian is required. For children
between 12 and 18, both child and parents should sign the consent form.)
You are reminded that consent forms are privileged records and must be protected for
confidentiality.
4. Signature of principal investigator: ^_________________
Action of Human Research Committee, CU-Denver:
1. PROJECT DIRECTOR: VZjfM "TSrnVios
Department: So oa^
(if a student project, thesis, or dissertation)
Faculty Advisor _____________________________________
Department: Soc£s>\
______Ext: 2.T ?0
Home Phone:
ExL:
approved as exempt or expedited research
approved as fully reviewed research
approved with conditions; see appended letter
disapproved; see appended letter
/-* -c F
Date
49


Appendix C
Consent: Form
We are respectfully asking you to participate in a study
investigating people's fairness conceptions in the distribution of
benefits and harms (rewards and punishments) that is being
conducted by a research team in the Department of Sociology at the
University of Colorado at Denver.
You will read a brief scenario and then be asked some
questions about that situation. The questions are not of a
personally embarrassing nature and the procedures of this study
pose no physical or psychological harm to you whatsoever. Your
answers are anonymous vour name will not appear on the
questionnaire. Should you decide to withdraw from the study at anv
time, you may do so without penalty.
The results of this study should help our understanding of
people' s justice conceptions concerning the distribution of rewards
and punishments. Because your responses are anonymous, it will not
be possible to give you any personalized feedback. However, a full
explanation of the study will be provided in a technical report or
a published article.
Kjell Tomblom can answer any questions you may have
concerning the study. He can be reached in the Department of
Sociology, at (303)556-2773. Questions concerning your rights as
a subject may be directed to the Office of Sponsored Programs, CU-
Denver, Campus Box 123, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364,
telephone 556-2771.
Your participation is greatly appreciated!
I understand the above information and give my voluntary consent to
participate in this study.
Printed Name
Signature
Date
50


Appendix D Questionnaire
When people interact with each other, things that they
consider valuable are frequently exchanged or distributed. A
research team at the Department of Sociology, University of
Colorado at Denver, is interested in finding out what people
think is fair, and what they think others consider fair, when
resources of various kinds are exchanged or distributed. This
particular study is concerned with people's conceptions of
fairness when benefits and harms are distributed.
We would like you to read the following scenario and then
answer all questions asked. Your participation is extremely
important to us. We assure you that all data will be kept
confidential.
Thank you very much for your cooperation,
Latha Uemuri
Kjell Tomblom
If you would like more detailed information about this research
please contact Dr. Kjell Tomblom at the Department of Sociology
(303-556-2780).
51


The budget for photostat copying at the Ricksonian
University was increased at the beginning of the academic year.
Thus, the faculty members and students would be able to make
more free copies than previously.
In a meeting between faculty and student representatives
a heated discussion emerged about the fairest way to distribute
extra copies among full, associate, and assistant professors, and
graduate and undergraduate students. The enact number of
copies each category would be allowed to make were to be
determined at another meeting the following week. However,
the following alternative general guidelines were proposed
during the first meeting:
(R) The higher the rank the more copies they are allowed to
make. Thus full professors can make more free copies than
associate professors, who in turn can make more copies
than associate professors. The graduate students can
make less free copies than the professors, but more than
the undergraduates.
(B) The higher the rank the less copies they are allowed to
make.
(C) Everybody's quota of free copies are increased equally,
regardless of rank.
(D) Everybody's needs would be examined, and the more needy
_____would be allowed more free copies._______________________
Now, please answer the following questions:
1. Which one of the above four guidelines (R-D) do you think is
most fair? Please circle your choice.
(R) (B) (C) (D)
2. Which one of the four would you most prefer?
(R) (B) (C) (D)
3. Which one do you think ought to be implemented?
(R) (B) (C) 52


The budget for photostat copying at the Ricksonian
University mas decreased at the beginning of the academic year.
Thus the faculty members and students mould haue to make less
free copies than previously.
In a meeting betmeen faculty and student representatives
a heated discussion emerged about the fairest may to distribute
copies among full, associate, and assistant professors, and
graduate and undergraduate students. The enact number of
copies each category mould be allomed to make mere to be
determined at another meeting the folloming meek. Homever,
the folloming alternative general guidelines mere proposed
during the first meeting:
(fl) The higher the rank the less copies they are allomed to
make. Thus full professors can make less free copies than
associate professors, mho in turn can make less than
assistant professors. The graduate students can make less
free copies than the professors, but more than the
undergraduates.
(B) The higher the rank the more copies they are allomed
to make.
(C) Everybodys quota of free copies are cut domn equally,
regardless of rank.
(D) Everybody's needs mould be enamined, and the less needy
_____mould be told they can make less free copies.___________
Nom, please ansmer the folloming questions:
1. Which one of the above four guidelines (R-D) do you think is
most fair? Please circle your choice.
(R) (B) (C) (D)
2. Which one of the four mould you most prefer?
(fl) (B) (C) (0)
3. Which one do you think ought to be implemented?
(fl) (B) (C) (D)
53


4. Which one of these allocations would you choose to apply if
you could make the decision?
(fl) (B> (CX (D)
In your opinion how fair or just is each one of the abooe
guidelines [Example a: If you think a guideline is
"perfectly fair", place a check mark
like this:
Perfectly Totally
fair LV1___1___1__1 1____1__| unfair
7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Example b: If you think a guideline is
" neither fair nor unfair", place a check mark
like this:
Perfectly Totally
fair |!|l_V|1--------!| unfair.]
7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Now, please place a check mark [that correctly reflects
your opinion about guidelines (A), (B), (C), and (D)] on
each one of the four seven-point scales below:
5. (R) = Perfectly TotaUy
fair 1 1. 1- 1. 1- 1 1 I unfair
7 6 5 4 3 2 1
6. fair 1 L I 1. L 1 I 1 unfair
7 6 5 4 3 2 1
7. (C) = Perfectly TotaUy
fair 1 1- I 1. 1- 1- 1 I unfair
7 6 5 4 3 2 1
8. (D) = Perfectly Totally
fair 1 1- 1 1. 1 l l unfair
7 6 5 4 3 2 1
9. Which one of the following factors do you think should haue
the greatest influence on decision-making in the aboue
situation.
a. What most of the people inuolued think is fair.
b. What most of the people think is preferable.
c. What most people inuolued think should be done.
d. other: namely
54


10. Which one of the guidelines do you think most full professors
mould choose?
(R) (B) (C) (D)
11. Which one of the guidelines do you think most associate
professors mould choose?
(R) (B) (C) (D)
12. Which one do you think most assistant professors mould
choose?
(fl) (B) (C) 13. Which one do you think most graduate students mould
choose?
(R) (B) (C) (D)
14. Which one do you think most undergraduates mould
choose?
(R) (B) (C) (D)
Nom me mould like to ask some questions about yourself:
15. What is your age this year? _____
16. fire you a man or a moman?
If you are a STUDENT: Please ansmer Questions 1? and 18:
17.1 haue studied_____years at college/uniuersity.
18. Rre you an undergraduate or a graduate student?
If you are a PROFESSOR: Please ansmer questions 19 and 20:
19.1 haue rnorked_____years as a professor.
20. What is your rank?: Full Associate Assistant
21. Do you haue a political party preference/affiliation.
a. None
b. Leftist
c. Moderate
d. Rightist
22. Can you eHplain mhat you mean by unfaimessu or
injustice" ? Please mrite on the back of this page >
55


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