Factorial Surveys in Social Psychology: Justice and Impartiality

Monday, 11 July 2016: 14:15
Location: Hörsaal 4C KS (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Guillermina JASSO, Sociology, New York University, New York, NY, USA
Robert SHELLY, Ohio University, USA
This paper develops a framework for studying impartiality in the four main processes of distributive justice -- the Just Reward Process, the Actual Reward Process, the Justice Evaluation Process, and the Justice Consequences Process -- proposes a method for studying two kinds of impartiality in the Justice Evaluation Process -- framing-impartiality and expressiveness-impartiality -- and reports the results of three factorial surveys carried out among college undergraduates in the United States.  Framing-impartiality means that the Observer frames rewards (as goods or bads) in the same way for all Rewardees.  For example, if an Observer frames a reward as a good for females and a bad for males, that Observer lacks framing-impartiality.  Expressiveness-impartiality means that the Observer expresses a given magnitude of the Justice Evaluation with the same emotion for all Rewardees.  For example, if an Observer judges two Rewardees as exactly equally underpaid but then shouts one of the Justice Evaluations and whispers the other (identical) one, that Observer lacks expressiveness-impartiality.  Understanding these forms of impartiality is important because their absence could destroy the good effects of impartiality in other elements of the justice situation, such as the Just Reward Process.  Identifying these forms of impartiality requires sharp tools, and in this endeavor the factorial survey is uniquely useful.  Preliminary analyses of the data indicate that framing-impartiality is universal but that sizable proportions of respondents fail expressiveness-impartiality.  Future research might explore these new forms of impartiality in representative samples of adult populations across several countries and with respect to other rewards, such as grades, bequests, and time in prison.