Green with envy and nerves of steel: Moderated mediation between distributive justice and theft
Author(s): Wilkin, C. L., & Connelly, C. E.
Resource: Personality and Individual Differences, 72, 160-164
The relationship between distributive justice and theft is well established, but the underlying mechanism for this relationship is not yet well understood. We expect that the discrete emotions that individuals experience when they have been paid unfairly may influence how they behave and their personality traits help them cope with unfair pay. In the present study, we therefore use the appraisal model to examine which discrete emotion (i.e., anger, disappointment, and envy) mediates the relationship between distributive justice and theft and conservation of resources theory to examine how emotionality is a personal resource that varies among individuals to help them cope with unfair pay. Participants were randomly assigned to an experimental condition where we manipulated the fairness of the pay that they received, measured the discrete emotions that they felt after being informed of their pay, and objectively measured how much they stole. The results indicate that envy mediates the relationship between distributive justice and theft and there is a moderating effect of emotionality on distributive justice and envy; and envy and theft. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.Go to journal page View all resources
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