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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

For every victim unfairly treated by an organization or its agents, there are many third parties who can witness or learn about the mistreatment. Skarlicki and Kulik (2005) presented a model of third party reactions to injustice, describing the attributional and perceptual processes that operate between learning about an injustice and acting on that injustice. In this chapter, we review the literature on third party responses to injustice and note three post-2005 developments. First, drawing from research on the adaptationist perspective, we discuss the evolutionary mechanisms that incorporate both moral and self-interest motives for third party reactions. Second, we review research that has moved beyond a focus on punishing the transgressor to third parties helping the victim. Third, we highlight research that examines the role of “hot” versus “cold” emotional processes in third party reactions. We incorporate these developments into a revised model of third party behavior.

Keywords: third parties, moral motives, self-interest, cold versus hot reactions, punishment, helping

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