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Keywords:

  • relative deprivation;
  • collective action;
  • collective disadvantage;
  • organizational loyalty;
  • intergroup emotion

As part of a mail survey about their work experiences, university faculty members reported their specific emotional reactions to group inequities in faculty pay and benefits. The results indicate that sadness, fear, and anger are distinct emotional responses to a collective disadvantage. Group-based anger mediated the relationship between collective disadvantage and willingness to protest whereas group-based sadness mediated the relationship between collective disadvantage and organizational loyalty. Based on an integration of cognitive appraisal models of emotion with RD theory, four other predictors of intergroup emotions—(1) the legitimacy of the process that produced the deprivation, (2) whether another agent was responsible, (3) group efficacy, and (4) whether the situation would improve or become worse—were identified and tested. The measurement of specific emotional reactions to perceived collective disadvantage extends and refines RD approaches to collective action and organizational loyalty.