Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Tom R. Tyler
Procedural justice is the study of people's subjective evaluations of the justice of procedures—whether they are fair or unfair, ethical or unethical, and whether they otherwise accord with people's standards of fair processes for interaction and decision making. Procedural justice is usually distinguished from subjective assessments of the fairness of outcomes (distributive justice) and the degree to which people feel that they are gaining or losing resources in the group (outcome favorability). Subjective procedural justice judgments have been the focus of a great deal of attention and research by psychologists because they are a key way to bring people's behavior into line with group rules and the decisions of group authorities. One reason that people might comply with rules and authorities is that they receive desirable rewards for cooperating or fear sanctioning from the group for not cooperating. Such instrumental motivations are effective in motivating compliance in a wide variety ...