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The Role of Psychological Distance in the Formation of Fairness Judgments


William D. Anderson, Department of Psychology, University of Missouri–St. Louis, 325 Stadler Hall, St. Louis, MO 63121. E-mail:


The present study examined how communication format, specifically computer-mediated communication vs. face-to-face communication, affected distributive and procedural fairness judgments. Specifically, it was expected that procedural information would have a stronger influence on fairness judgments in face-to-face communication than in computer-mediated communication. This hypothesis was not, however, supported by a significant Mode of Communication × Procedure interaction. We also hypothesized that face-to-face communication, compared with computer-mediated communication, would increase the impact of the distributive information on fairness judgments. As predicted, this hypothesis was supported by a significant Mode of Communication × Outcome interaction. The processes potentially mediating these differences, including psychological distance and evaluation apprehension, are discussed.

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