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Keywords:

  • restorative justice;
  • retributive justice;
  • injustice;
  • personality;
  • individual differences

Abstract

We proposed two distinct understandings of what justice means to victims and what its restoration entails that are reflected in individual-level justice orientations. Individuals with a retributive orientation conceptualize justice as the unilateral imposition of just deserts against the offender. In contrast, individuals with a restorative orientation conceptualize justice as achieving a renewed consensus about the shared values violated by the offence. Three studies showed differential relations between these two justice orientations and various individual-level values/ideologies and predicted unique variance in preferences for concrete justice-restoring interventions, judicial processes and abstract justice restoration goals. The pattern of results lends validity to the understanding of justice as two distinct conceptualizations, a distinction that provides much needed explanation for divergent preferences for injustice responses. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.