This research was supported by the German Science Foundation (DFG), Grant KA 1328/3-1 to the second author. The authors thank the editor as well as two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on the paper.
Fairness, Self-Interest, and Cooperation in a Real-Life Conflict1
Article first published online: 21 FEB 2008
© 2008 Copyright the Authors
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 38, Issue 3, pages 684–704, March 2008
How to Cite
Müller, M. M., Kals, E. and Maes, J. (2008), Fairness, Self-Interest, and Cooperation in a Real-Life Conflict. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38: 684–704. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2007.00322.x
- Issue published online: 21 FEB 2008
- Article first published online: 21 FEB 2008
Effects of procedural fairness and self-interest on cooperation vs. hardness in an urban planning conflict were examined in a questionnaire study. The self-interest perspective posits that people seek to maximize their outcomes and, therefore, cooperate only when they can gain advantages or avoid disadvantages by doing so, while fairness models of cooperation view cooperative actions as based mainly on justice motives. The data give strong support for the fairness hypothesis, showing that self-interest accounts only for hard strategies, whereas justice motives explain a considerable part of cooperation. The impact of the results on further research on social conflicts and their settlement, as well as the elaboration of models of fairness in the social psychology of conflicts are discussed.