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Keywords:

  • personality-congruent information processing;
  • social justice research;
  • attention;
  • interpretation;
  • memory

Abstract

We investigated how Justice Sensitivity (JS) shapes the processing of justice-related information. We proposed that due to frequently perceiving and ruminating about injustices, persons high in JS develop highly accessible and differentiated injustice concepts that shape attention, interpretation and memory for justice-related information. Three studies provided evidence for these assumptions. After witnessing injustice, persons high in JS attended more strongly to unjust stimuli than to negative control stimuli (Study1) and interpreted an ambiguous situation as less just than persons low in JS (Study2). Finally, they displayed a memory advantage for unjust information (Study3). Results suggest that JS involves the availability and accessibility of injustice concepts as parameters of cognitive functioning and offer explanations for effects of JS on justice-related behaviour. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.