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Abstract

To what extent can self-awareness affect behavior in justice-related situations? The present study investigated the impact of both chronic levels (public and private self-consciousness), and experimentally induced self-awareness on responsiveness to concurrently operative hut opposing standards of justice in an allocation of pay situation. Subjects were exposed to an externally based (equity) standard and an internally based (equality) standard before dividing pay between themselves and a coworker. The results indicated that high public, low private self-consciousness persons conformed to the external standard by allocating equitably; high private, low public individuals confirmed to the internal standard by allocating equally. Further, subjects who divided their pay in the presence of a mirror allocated most equitably, followed by those whose allocations were made public, while those allocating in private allocated most equally. These latter results were discussed in terms of Wicklund and Hormuth's (1981) vs. Hull and Levy's (1979) conception of self-awareness phenomena. Finally, the importance of the self as a source for evaluating differing criteria of justice was discussed.