Unfair Or Unfavorable?: Social Comparisons and the Spontaneous Activation of (Un)Fairness Concerns

The purpose of this research is to identify conditions when consumers are more or less likely to spontaneously frame unfavorable situations in terms of fairness violations. We further identify how and when these spontaneous fairness judgments coincide or do not coincide with solicited fairness judgments. In our study, we find that consumers rate service failures as unfair when explicitly asked about it but do not naturally frame these situations in terms of fairness unless social comparison information is present. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


Laurence Ashworth, Lindsay McShane, and Svetlana Davis (2011) ,"Unfair Or Unfavorable?: Social Comparisons and the Spontaneous Activation of (Un)Fairness Concerns", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39, eds. Rohini Ahluwalia, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Rebecca K. Ratner, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 880-881.


Laurence Ashworth, Queens University, Canada
Lindsay McShane, Queens University, Canada
Svetlana Davis, Queens University, Canada


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39 | 2011

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