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Abstract

An experiment was conducted to investigate the importance of inequity distress. In a 2 x 2 factorial design subjects were paid either in a high or low disadvantageous inequitable manner compared to a male confederate. One half of the subjects were led to believe that fictitious infrasonic sound would have arousing side effects, one half expected no side effects whatsoever. According to the hypotheses, (1) subjects in the misattribution condition restored equity less than subjects in the no side effects control group, (2) strongly inequitable treated subjects restored equity more than mildly inequitable treated ones, (3) the misattribution manipulation only had a significant effect on strongly inequitable treated subjects. Thus, the results show that distress is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the restoration of equity. Consequences of the results for future research are discussed.