Altruistic Compensation Vs. Altruistic Punishment: How People Restore Justice

29 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2008

See all articles by Marijke C. Leliveld

Marijke C. Leliveld

Leiden University

Eric van Dijk

Leiden University

Ilja van Beest

University of Amsterdam (UVA), Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences - Communication Science Department

Date Written: November 9, 2008

Abstract

In general, our justice system provides two types of reactions when justice is not served: punishing the perpetrator or compensating the victim. The present study focuses on outsiders observing a situation of injustice. We directly compare punishment and compensation behavior by introducing a newly developed altruistic compensation game, and comparing this to behavior in the altruistic punishment game (Fehr & Fischbacher, 2004). We show that outsiders were willing to altruistically (i.e. costly) compensate the victim (Experiment 1), even when they could also punish the perpetrator (Experiment 2). Moreover, this was moderated by emphatic concern (Experiment 3). Participants who scored high on empathic concern decided to compensate, whereas participants who scored low on empathic concern decided to punish. The implications for justice literature and avenues for future research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Leliveld, Marijke C. and van Dijk, Eric and van Beest, Ilja, Altruistic Compensation Vs. Altruistic Punishment: How People Restore Justice (November 9, 2008). IACM 21st Annual Conference Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1298584 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1298584

Marijke C. Leliveld (Contact Author)

Leiden University ( email )

Postbus 9500
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

Eric van Dijk

Leiden University ( email )

Postbus 9500
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

Ilja Van Beest

University of Amsterdam (UVA), Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences - Communication Science Department ( email )

Kloveniersburgwal 48
Amsterdam, 1012 CX
Netherlands
+31(0)20 525 2110 (Phone)

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