Deakin University
Browse

File(s) under permanent embargo

Procedural justice and affect intensity : understanding reactions to regulatory authorities

journal contribution
posted on 2009-03-01, 00:00 authored by Kristina Murphy
Why is it that some people respond in a more negative way to procedural injustice than do others, and why is it that some people go on to defy authority while others in the same situation do not? Personality theorists suggest that the psychological effect of a situation depends on how a person interprets the situation and that such differences in interpretation can vary as a function of individual difference factors. For example, affect intensity—one’s predisposition to react more or less emotionally to an event—is one such individual difference factor that has been shown to influence people’s reactions to events. Cross-sectional survey data collected from (a) 652 tax offenders who have been through a serious law enforcement experience (Study 1), and (b) 672 citizens with recent personal contact with a police officer (Study 2), showed that individual differences in ‘affect intensity’ moderate the effect of procedural justice on both affective reactions and compliance behavior. Specifically, perceptions of procedural justice had a greater effect in reducing anger and reports of non-compliance among those lower in affect intensity than those higher in affect intensity. Both methodological and theoretical explanations are offered to explain the results, including the suggestion that emotions of shame may play a role in the observed interaction.

History

Journal

Social justice research

Volume

22

Issue

1

Pagination

1 - 30

Publisher

Springer Netherlands

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0885-7466

eISSN

1573-6725

Language

eng

Notes

Published online: 17 December 2008

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2008, Springer Science+Business Media