Behavioral (In)tolerance of equality violation in social dilemmas: When trust affects contribution decisions after violations of equality

  • Stouten J
  • de Cremer D
  • van Dijk E
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In public good dilemmas, people often coordinate their decisions by applying the equality rule. Prior research has shown that if one member violates equality, negative emotions emerge among the other group members. In two experimental studies we investigated whether the presence of a violator also affects contribution decisions. A fi rst experiment demonstrated that a violation of equality does not always infl uence people’s contributions. Even after an equality violation, group members continued to base their decisions on the equality rule if they faced a social dilemma with the same group members. But when group members faced a social dilemma with only the violator of equality, contributions were lowered. Experiment 2 showed that this is especially true for low trusters.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Equality
  • Fairness
  • Social dilemmas
  • Trust

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  • Jeroen Stouten

  • David de Cremer

  • Eric van Dijk

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