Racial differences were examined in the responses of grammar school boys to an unfair distribution of rewards. Our primary interests were equity‐restoration and inequity distress. Race of the three participants, allocator of rewards, beneficiary, and victim were varied in a factorial design. Generally, children who profited from the unfair distribution made no attempt to restore equity regardless of race. Black children who were victims did try to restore equity when the allocator was also black. All victims experienced emotional distress that was more extreme when the allocator's race was different from their own. Victims also justified their mistreatment by blaming themselves. There was no evidence of guilt on the part of the beneficiaries who disavowed the inequity. Thus equity‐restoration through denial of responsibility by the advantaged and justification of inequity by the disadvantaged resulted in acceptance of a fundamentally unfair situation by beneficiary and victim alike.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1978
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