The Justice Motive in Social Behavior: Introduction


Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1.


The articles in this issue enable one to examine the assumptions social observers have employed to understand the role which “justice” plays in human endeavors. Justice is seen by some as a by-product of the individual's attempt to maximize his outcomes and an ideological support for the exercise of power. Others consider that justice, in its various forms, is an expression of the various functional requirements of society. Finally, there are those who find that the commitment to justice is a natural expression of the human potential. All the contributors must deal directly, or indirectly, with two compelling observations. Justice is one of the most sacred and pervasive themes in social behavior. And yet, it can take dramatically different forms even within the same society.