All else being equal

Overcoming the egalitarian norm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

People who are in powerful positions (e.g., government officials, employers, parents) often decide how to allocate goods to other people. Indeed, control over resources is precisely one of the things that confers power. This chapter provides a brief overview of distributive justice theory, which deals with fairness standards for allocating some limited resource. We next review relevant research on social power, or the ability to influence others in psychologically meaningful ways through the giving or withholding of rewards and punishments. We then present two experiments that examine the effects of power and a number of situational (e.g., ingroup–outgroup, priming notions of power or merit), demographic (e.g., gender), and attitude and personality variables (e.g., political orientation, communal orientation, merit orientation, work ethic, egalitarianism, collectivism, and empathy) on individuals’ allocation behavior in a resource distribution task. The experiments examine the allocation of two different resources: money (Experiment 1) and time on work assignments (Experiment 2). Across both experiments, the results indicate a strong norm of equality, which appears to trump other considerations, such as recipients’ apparent need, merit, or similarity to the allocator. The final section discusses the findings’ implications, such as whether this egalitarian norm can be overcome, and whether it is desirable to do so.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationJustice, Conflict and Wellbeing: Multidisciplinary Perspectives
PublisherSpringer New York
Pages3-30
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9781493906239, 9781493906222
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Fingerprint

experiment
resources
Aptitude
Punishment
work orientation
Social Justice
Reward
Ethics
egalitarianism
collectivism
distributive justice
Personality
political attitude
empathy
Parents
fairness
Demography
reward
penalty
equality

Keywords

  • Distributive justice
  • Egalitarianism
  • Individual differences
  • Power
  • Resource allocation
  • Ultimatum game

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Bornstein, B. H., Gervais, S. J., & Escamilla, J. (2014). All else being equal: Overcoming the egalitarian norm. In Justice, Conflict and Wellbeing: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (pp. 3-30). Springer New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-0623-9_1

All else being equal : Overcoming the egalitarian norm. / Bornstein, Brian H; Gervais, Sarah J; Escamilla, Justin.

Justice, Conflict and Wellbeing: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Springer New York, 2014. p. 3-30.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Bornstein, BH, Gervais, SJ & Escamilla, J 2014, All else being equal: Overcoming the egalitarian norm. in Justice, Conflict and Wellbeing: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Springer New York, pp. 3-30. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-0623-9_1
Bornstein BH, Gervais SJ, Escamilla J. All else being equal: Overcoming the egalitarian norm. In Justice, Conflict and Wellbeing: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Springer New York. 2014. p. 3-30 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-0623-9_1
Bornstein, Brian H ; Gervais, Sarah J ; Escamilla, Justin. / All else being equal : Overcoming the egalitarian norm. Justice, Conflict and Wellbeing: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Springer New York, 2014. pp. 3-30
@inbook{d64b1976ad9c48028cbc377f6f6e6625,
title = "All else being equal: Overcoming the egalitarian norm",
abstract = "People who are in powerful positions (e.g., government officials, employers, parents) often decide how to allocate goods to other people. Indeed, control over resources is precisely one of the things that confers power. This chapter provides a brief overview of distributive justice theory, which deals with fairness standards for allocating some limited resource. We next review relevant research on social power, or the ability to influence others in psychologically meaningful ways through the giving or withholding of rewards and punishments. We then present two experiments that examine the effects of power and a number of situational (e.g., ingroup–outgroup, priming notions of power or merit), demographic (e.g., gender), and attitude and personality variables (e.g., political orientation, communal orientation, merit orientation, work ethic, egalitarianism, collectivism, and empathy) on individuals’ allocation behavior in a resource distribution task. The experiments examine the allocation of two different resources: money (Experiment 1) and time on work assignments (Experiment 2). Across both experiments, the results indicate a strong norm of equality, which appears to trump other considerations, such as recipients’ apparent need, merit, or similarity to the allocator. The final section discusses the findings’ implications, such as whether this egalitarian norm can be overcome, and whether it is desirable to do so.",
keywords = "Distributive justice, Egalitarianism, Individual differences, Power, Resource allocation, Ultimatum game",
author = "Bornstein, {Brian H} and Gervais, {Sarah J} and Justin Escamilla",
year = "2014",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/978-1-4939-0623-9_1",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "9781493906239",
pages = "3--30",
booktitle = "Justice, Conflict and Wellbeing: Multidisciplinary Perspectives",
publisher = "Springer New York",

}

TY - CHAP

T1 - All else being equal

T2 - Overcoming the egalitarian norm

AU - Bornstein, Brian H

AU - Gervais, Sarah J

AU - Escamilla, Justin

PY - 2014/1/1

Y1 - 2014/1/1

N2 - People who are in powerful positions (e.g., government officials, employers, parents) often decide how to allocate goods to other people. Indeed, control over resources is precisely one of the things that confers power. This chapter provides a brief overview of distributive justice theory, which deals with fairness standards for allocating some limited resource. We next review relevant research on social power, or the ability to influence others in psychologically meaningful ways through the giving or withholding of rewards and punishments. We then present two experiments that examine the effects of power and a number of situational (e.g., ingroup–outgroup, priming notions of power or merit), demographic (e.g., gender), and attitude and personality variables (e.g., political orientation, communal orientation, merit orientation, work ethic, egalitarianism, collectivism, and empathy) on individuals’ allocation behavior in a resource distribution task. The experiments examine the allocation of two different resources: money (Experiment 1) and time on work assignments (Experiment 2). Across both experiments, the results indicate a strong norm of equality, which appears to trump other considerations, such as recipients’ apparent need, merit, or similarity to the allocator. The final section discusses the findings’ implications, such as whether this egalitarian norm can be overcome, and whether it is desirable to do so.

AB - People who are in powerful positions (e.g., government officials, employers, parents) often decide how to allocate goods to other people. Indeed, control over resources is precisely one of the things that confers power. This chapter provides a brief overview of distributive justice theory, which deals with fairness standards for allocating some limited resource. We next review relevant research on social power, or the ability to influence others in psychologically meaningful ways through the giving or withholding of rewards and punishments. We then present two experiments that examine the effects of power and a number of situational (e.g., ingroup–outgroup, priming notions of power or merit), demographic (e.g., gender), and attitude and personality variables (e.g., political orientation, communal orientation, merit orientation, work ethic, egalitarianism, collectivism, and empathy) on individuals’ allocation behavior in a resource distribution task. The experiments examine the allocation of two different resources: money (Experiment 1) and time on work assignments (Experiment 2). Across both experiments, the results indicate a strong norm of equality, which appears to trump other considerations, such as recipients’ apparent need, merit, or similarity to the allocator. The final section discusses the findings’ implications, such as whether this egalitarian norm can be overcome, and whether it is desirable to do so.

KW - Distributive justice

KW - Egalitarianism

KW - Individual differences

KW - Power

KW - Resource allocation

KW - Ultimatum game

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84956762038&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84956762038&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/978-1-4939-0623-9_1

DO - 10.1007/978-1-4939-0623-9_1

M3 - Chapter

SN - 9781493906239

SN - 9781493906222

SP - 3

EP - 30

BT - Justice, Conflict and Wellbeing: Multidisciplinary Perspectives

PB - Springer New York

ER -