Sociology and justice theories indicate that coercive behavior creates a sense of injustice, but what if a computer is the proximal source of this coercion? I argue that people attribute justice to computers, but do so differently than to humans—people may perceive computers’ behavior as unjust, but not as unjust as the same behavior by humans. Likewise, individuals resist and retaliate against coercive behavior, but do so less if the coercer is a computer. These hypotheses are extended from justice studies in social exchange. Specifically, I expand on Molm et al.’s (1993) laboratory experiment of coercion in social exchange, adding a human versus computer identity condition. I conduct a laboratory experiment (N = 121) that replicates Molm et al.’s study and supports the hypotheses on justice, resistance, and retaliation to coercive computers.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/daniel-shank/9/