Reactions to Decisions with Uncertain Consequences: Reliance on Perceived Fairness versus Predicted Outcomes Depends on Knowledge

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 96, No. 1, pp. 104-118, 2009

15 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2009 Last revised: 3 Jul 2009

See all articles by Kelly E. See

Kelly E. See

University of Colorado at Denver - Business School; New York University - Department of Management and Organizations

Date Written: January 1, 2009

Abstract

Many decisions made by authorities pose uncertain consequences for the individuals affected by them, yet people must determine the extent to which they will support the change. Integrating the social justice and behavioral decision theory literatures, the article argues that individuals determine their support for proposed initiatives by assessing how knowledgeable they feel and using 2 main sources of information more or less heavily: their prediction of how the outcome of the initiative is likely to affect them or the perceived fairness of the decision maker. Three studies (2 experiments, 1 longitudinal field survey) assessing support for proposed public policies reveal that when individuals feel very knowledgeable they rely more on their prediction of how the outcome will affect them, whereas when they feel less knowledgeable they rely more on an overall impression of procedural fairness. The theoretical account and findings shed interdisciplinary insights into how people use process and outcome cues in reacting to decisions under uncertainty and ambiguity.

Keywords: justice-fairness, decision making, uncertainty-ambiguity, policy-political, behavioral, environment

JEL Classification: D00, D6, D8, K00, M00, Q00

Suggested Citation

See, Kelly E., Reactions to Decisions with Uncertain Consequences: Reliance on Perceived Fairness versus Predicted Outcomes Depends on Knowledge (January 1, 2009). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 96, No. 1, pp. 104-118, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1324402

Kelly E. See (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Denver - Business School ( email )

1475 Lawrence Street
Suite 5015
Denver, CO 80204
United States

New York University - Department of Management and Organizations ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
319
Abstract Views
1,155
rank
94,215
PlumX Metrics