My research program is focused on the social-psychological origins of human concerns for morality, social justice, and fairness. Parts of my research examined underlying motivations of how subordinates evaluate procedural justice—defined as the perceived fairness of decision-making procedures—in their encounters with decision-makers. Findings of both experiments and field studies suggest, for instance, that procedural justice concerns substantially emerge from egocentric needs, such as the need for individual recognition (cf. Van Prooijen et al., 2008; Van Prooijen & Zwenk, 2009) and hedonism (Van Prooijen, Karremans, & Van Beest, 2006). Indeed, my research indicates that procedural justice is closely associated with basic need fulfillment, such as the need for autonomy (Van Prooijen, 2009) and belongingness (van Prooijen, Van den Bos, & Wilke, 2004).
Besides this focus on recipients of fair or unfair treatment, my research also examines how people deal with injustices that they encounter as independent observers. A series of studies examined how social categorizations of criminal offenders determine people’s morality-based punishment responses, delineating when people are more punitive towards ingroup or outgroup offenders (Van Prooijen, 2006; Van Prooijen & Lam, 2007). Related to this, studies investigated how the perceived fairness of a punishment system can influence cooperative behaviors in social dilemmas (Van Prooijen, Gallucci, & Toeset, 2008). In addition, I investigated how people’s concern for punishment of offenders relates to their concern to compensate victims for the harm done (Van Prooijen, 2010).
More recently, my research broadened to related questions surrounding human morality. For instance, I recently extended my research program to the question why people sometimes blame innocent victims for their fate (Van Prooijen & Van den Bos, 2009), and what factors facilitate forgiveness of perpetrators of injustice. Moreover, some of my most current studies examine why people tend to believe in conspiracy theories following a threat to the social order (e.g., terrorist attacks). These efforts serve the general purpose of my research program, which is to map the psychological processes that shape human morality concerns.
- Aggression, Conflict, Peace
- Applied Social Psychology
- Ethics and Morality
- Helping, Prosocial Behavior
- Intergroup Relations
- Interpersonal Processes
- Judgment and Decision Making
- Law and Public Policy
- Motivation, Goal Setting
- Person Perception
- Personality, Individual Differences
- Political Psychology
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- Van Prooijen, J.-W. (2010). Retributive versus compensatory justice: Observers’ preference for punishing in response to criminal offenses. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 72-85.
- Van Prooijen, J.-W. (2009). Procedural justice as autonomy regulation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 1166-1180.
- Van Prooijen, J.-W. (2006). Retributive reactions to suspected offenders: The importance of social categorizations and guilt probability. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 715-726.
- Van Prooijen, J.-W., De Cremer, D., Van Beest, I., Ståhl, T., Van Dijke, M., & Van Lange, P. A. M. (2008). The egocentric nature of procedural justice: Social value orientation as moderator of reactions to decision-making procedures. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 1303-1315.
- Van Prooijen, J.-W., Gallucci, M., & Toeset, G. (2008). Procedural justice in punishment systems: Inconsistent punishment procedures have detrimental effects on cooperation. British Journal of Social Psychology, 47, 311-324.
- Van Prooijen, J.-W., Karremans, J. C., & Van Beest, I. (2006). Procedural justice and the hedonic principle: How approach versus avoidance motivation influences the psychology of voice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 686-697.
- Van Prooijen, J.-W., & Lam, J. (2007). Retributive justice and social categorizations: The perceived fairness of punishment depends on intergroup status. European Journal of Social Psychology, 1244-1255.
- Van Prooijen, J.-W., & Van den Bos, K. (2009). We blame innocent victims more than I do: Self-construal level moderates responses to just world threats. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1528-1539.
- Van Prooijen, J.-W., Van den Bos, K., Lind, E. A., & Wilke, H. A. M. (2006). How do people react to negative procedures? On the moderating role of authority’s biased attitudes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 632-645.
- Van Prooijen, J.-W., Van den Bos, K., & Wilke, H. A. M. (2007). Procedural justice in authority relations: The strength of outcome dependence influences people's reactions to voice. European Journal of Social Psychology, 1286-1297.
- Van Prooijen, J.-W., Van den Bos, K., & Wilke, H. A. M. (2005). Procedural justice and intragroup status: Knowing where we stand in a group enhances reactions to procedural justice. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 41, 664-676.
- Van Prooijen, J.-W., Van den Bos, K., & Wilke, H. A. M. (2004). Group belongingness and procedural justice: Social inclusion and exclusion by peers affects the psychology of voice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 66-79.
- Van Prooijen, J.-W., Van den Bos, K., & Wilke, H. A. M. (2002). Procedural justice and status: Status salience as antecedent of procedural fairness effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 1353-1361.
- Van Prooijen, J.-W., & Zwenk, F. (2009). Self-construal level and voice procedures: The individual self as psychological basis for procedural fairness effects. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 392-397.
- Van Prooijen, J.-W., Van den Bos, K., & Wilke, H. A. M. (2004). The role of standing in the psychology of procedural justice: Towards theoretical integration. In W. Stroebe & M. Hewstone (Eds.), European Review of Social Psychology (Vol. 15, pp. 33-58). East Sussex, England: Psychology Press.
- Applying Social-Psychological Theories to Societal Issues
- Interpersonal Processes
- Introduction to Social Psychology
Jan-Willem van Prooijen
Department of Social and Organizational Psychology
VU University Amsterdam
Van der Boechorststraat 1
1081 BT Amsterdam
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