Building upon the idea that procedural justice effects are more pronounced when uncertainty is high, we proposed that recall of an uncertainty-eliciting emotion (fear) will render people more responsive to variations in procedural justice than will recall of a certainty-eliciting emotion (disgust). Results from Study 1, (n = 79 undergraduate students) confirmed that a fair procedure (voice condition) enhanced self-esteem relative to an unfair procedure (no voice condition) to a greater extent when people recalled fear than when they recalled disgust. Results from Study 2 (n = 147 undergraduate students) also showed that a fair, relative to an unfair, procedure enhanced self-esteem more strongly when recalling the emotion of fear rather than disgust, but only when these emotions were recalled from a self-immersed than a self-distanced perspective. These findings confirm that discrete emotions that orient people to interpret situations in uncertain versus certain ways are important antecedents of procedural justice effects.

certainty appraisals, discrete emotions, procedural justice, self esteem, uncertainty,
ERIM Article Series (EAS)
Motivation and Emotion
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

de Cremer, D, & van Hiel, A. (2008). Procedural justice effects on self-esteem under certainty versus uncertainty emotions. Motivation and Emotion, 32(4), 278–287. doi:10.1007/s11031-008-9090-4