Four studies showed that procedural fairness (fair vs. unfair treatment by an authority figure) has reputational implications for personal and relational self-esteem. Participants relied on procedural fairness to infer their reputation, especially when they were identifiable (Study 1). Furthermore, concern for reputation moderated the influence of procedural fairness on self-esteem: Variations in procedural fairness were more strongly associated with the personal self-esteem of individuals high rather than low in concern for reputation (Studies 2-3). Finally, violations in procedural fairness (i.e., unfair treatment) led to a more substantial reduction in the relational self-esteem of positive-reputation than negative-reputation participants: The former felt more relationally devalued than the latter, when they were denied voice (Study 4).

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ERIM Article Series (EAS)
Basic and Applied Social Psychology
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

de Cremer, D., & Sedikides, C. (2008). Reputational implications of procedural fairness for personal and relational self-esteem. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 30(1), 66–75. doi:10.1080/01973530701866557