“When passion breeds justice”: procedural fairness effects as a function of authority's passion


  • David De Cremer,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
    • Department of Social Psychology, Center of Justice and Social Decision Making, (JuST; www.centerofjust.com), P.O. Box 90153, 5000LE Tilburg, The Netherlands.
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  • Nathalie den Ouden

    1. Department of Experimental Psychology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
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The present research examined how procedural fairness predicts negative emotions and withdrawal behavior as a function of authority's display of passion. A first study revealed that reinforcing the concept of passion made the concept of justice and fairness more accessible to participants, as such suggesting that authority passion should make people focus more on procedural fairness information. Corroborating this line of reasoning, a scenario experiment and a laboratory experiment thereafter yielded consistent evidence that the effects of procedural fairness (i.e., voice vs. no voice) were stronger on negative emotions and willingness to withdraw when the authority was passionate relative to not being passionate. In addition, the results of both studies also revealed that negative emotions mediated the effect of procedural fairness on withdrawal, but only so when the authority was passionate (i.e., mediated moderation). It is concluded that more research is needed focusing on the interactions between different authority styles/characteristics and procedural fairness effects. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.