When Do Fair Procedures Not Matter? A Test of the Identity Violation Effect

David M. Mayer, Rebecca L. Greenbaum, Maribeth Kuenzi, Garriy Shteynberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Considerable research has demonstrated that fair procedures help improve reactions to decisions, a phenomenon known as the fair process effect. However, in the present research, the authors identify when and why objectively fair procedures (i.e., receiving voice) may not always improve justice perceptions. Findings from 2 studies (Ns = 108 and 277) yield support for the proposed identity violation effect, which posits that when an outcome violates a central aspect of one's self (i.e., personal and/or social identity), objectively fair procedures do not improve procedural and distributive justice perceptions. Further, consistent with the motivated reasoning hypothesis, the Voice × Identity Violation interaction on justice perceptions was mediated by participants' tendency to find a procedural flaw-namely, to doubt that opinions were considered before making the decision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-161
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology


  • fair
  • identity
  • justice
  • voice


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