Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Individual differences in reactions to interpersonal injustice

Tara L Myers, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Using the cognitive-affective personality theory and the triple typology model of personality research, the present study examined the influence of individual differences on reactions to interpersonal injustice. The primary individual difference variable was self-esteem, including both self-esteem level and stability. Alternative explanation variables included negative affectivity and gender. General hypotheses predicted that (a) stable patterns of variability would be evident and would lead to meaningful behavior, situation, and person classes and (b) self-esteem would predict both reactions to injustice and membership in the person classes. ^ Participants were 215 undergraduate students who completed the study through an on-line survey. First, they completed the individual differences questionnaire. Then, they completed the scenario section, which included 20 scenarios of disrespectful treatment from a supervisor. After each scenario, they indicated their likelihood of exhibiting 20 behaviors. ^ Results indicated that an interpretable classification scheme was possible. Furthermore, reactions related to individual difference variables. Overall, age, gender, self-esteem level, and negative affectivity were the primary predictors of behavior. These relationships depended on the type of situation and behavior. The interaction between self-esteem level and stability was not significant. Age and gender predicted membership in the person classes. ^ Finally, knowledge of person class membership allowed for 79% accuracy in prediction of behaviors. That is, 79% of the behavior-situation pairings in a validation sample of scenarios were as expected from person class membership. Examination of the modal responses for each behavior across situations and people created a base rate accuracy percentage of 72%. Use of person class data added to the prediction possible from overall participant data. ^ The present findings confirm that people react differently to different types of disrespect and that, in general, individual differences such as self-esteem and negative affectivity can predict those responses. As a whole, the results provide some support for the use of the CAPS theory and the triple typology model as personality research methods. Researchers using these models, though, may want to rethink which individual difference variables they use as predictors of justice perceptions. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Industrial|Psychology, Personality

Recommended Citation

Myers, Tara L, "Individual differences in reactions to interpersonal injustice" (2006). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3208079.