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Perceived Justice and Reactions to Coercive Computers
Sociological Forum
  • Daniel Burton Shank, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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.

Psychological Science
This work has been funded by the National Science Foundation Grants NSF#0519969 and NSF#0729396
Document Type
Article - Journal
Document Version
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© 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc., All rights reserved.
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Citation Information
Daniel Burton Shank. "Perceived Justice and Reactions to Coercive Computers" Sociological Forum Vol. 27 Iss. 2 (2012) p. 372 - 391 ISSN: 0884-8971
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