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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Who Sees What as Fair? Mapping Individual Differences in Valuation of Reciprocity, Charity,and Impartiality

Laura Niemi and Liane Young
Social Justice Research

When scarce resources are allocated, different criteria may be considered: impersonal allocation (impartiality), the needs of specific individuals (charity), or the relational ties between individuals (reciprocity). In the present research, we investigated how people’s perspectives on fairness relate to individual differences in interpersonal orientations. Participants evaluated the fairness of allocations based on (a) impartiality (b) charity, and (c) reciprocity. To assess interpersonal orientations, we administered measures of dispositional empathy (i.e., empathic concern and perspective-taking) and Machiavellianism. Across two studies, Machiavellianism correlated with higher ratings of reciprocity as fair, whereas empathic concern and perspective taking correlated with higher ratings of charity as fair. We discuss these findings in relation to recent neuroscientific research on empathy, fairness, and moral evaluations of resource allocations.

The article is here.
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