Justice, equity, and fairness are central concerns of everyday life. We frequently assess the fairness of individual acts, social programs, and institutional policies. This book explores how distributions of costs and benefits determine our intuitions about fairness. Some chapters examine the extent to which individual behavior deviates from normative theories of justice. This comparison requires an answer to the question of how fair distributions of resources or burdens should be made. Competing theories, such as utilitarianism and economic efficiency, are discussed. Other chapters investigate various rules and heuristics that people use to make fair distributions, the motivation for people to conform to rules of fairness even when they conflict with self-interest, differences between liberals and conservatives in their views about justice, rules that societies actually use to distribute or allocate critical or scarce resources, and implications for public policy. This mixture of theoretical and applied perspectives provides a balanced look at the psychological underpinnings of justice.
1. Introductory remarks; Part I. Psychological Perspectives: 2. Equality as a decision heuristic David Messick; 3. Two insights occasioned by attempts to pin down the equity formula Richard Harris; 4. Judgments of justice Maya Bar-Hillel and Menahem Yaari; Part II. Economic Perspectives: 5. Justice in organised groups: comparing the self-interest and social identity perspectives Tom Tyler and Robyn Dawes; 6. Heuristics and biases in equity judgments: a utilitarian approach Jonathan Baron; 7. Tradeoffs in fairness and preference judgments Lisa Ordoñez and Barbara Mellers; 8. Information, fairness, and efficiency in bargaining Colin Camerer and George Loewenstein; Part III. Variations in Perspectives of Justice: 9. The unfolding of justice: a developmental perspective on reward allocations Colleen Moore, Sheri E. Hembree, and Robert D. Enright; 10. Of Ants and Grasshoppers: the political psychology of allocating scarce resources Linda Skitka and Philip E. Tetlock; 11. Liberal and conservative approaches to justice: conflicting psychopolitical perspectives Philip E. Tetlock and Gregory Mitchell; Part IV. Policy Perspectives: Justice and the allocation of scarce resources Jon Elster; 12. Models of equity in public risk Rakesh Sarin; 13. Fairness of distributions of risks with applications to Antarctica Ivy Broder and Robin Keller; Part V: Postscript.
"The present tightly edited volume provides innovative and rigorous additions to this growing body of theoretical and empirical work....although the present volume clearly illustrates the usefulness of a behavioral decision theory in the study of justice, its greatest contribution lies in demonstrating how social goals and strategies, such as the pursuit of justice and fairness influence judgments and decisions about the allocation of valued resources." Terry L. Boles and Charles G. McClintock, Contemporary Psychology
"This edited volume is a splendid introduction to an important set of psychological studies in normative reasoning....These studies, and some of their implications, should indeed be grist for an ethicist's preferred theory of moral behavior." Ethics