Justice For All? Progress in Research on Cultural Variation in the Psychology of Distributive and Procedural Justice

By Michael W. MorrisKwok Leung
1999| Working Paper No. 1582

We review progress in research attempting to model the influence of culture on judgments of justice. We review research on people’s reactions to resource allocation outcomes, the psychology of distributive justice, as well as on people’s reactions the processes through which authorities make decisions, the psychology of procedural justice. We describe the progress from early work in which culture was equated with country differences to later work which focused on dimensions of values (e.g., individualism-collectivism) that mediate country differences and important contextual factors (e.g., ingroup vs. outgroup) that moderate them. Yet we also describe pitfalls of this research strategy. Finally, we describe the trend toward greater specificity in conceptions of cultural influence—more specific value-dimensions, more specific contextual factors, and the inclusion of specific knowledge structures.