Journal of Theoretical Social Psychology
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 Journal profile

The Journal of Theoretical Social Psychology aims to publish original research, and reviews, that have the potential to stimulate advances in social psychological theory.

 Editor spotlight

Chief Editor, Richard J. Crisp, is Head of the Department of Psychology at Durham University. His research covers the full range of topics that comprise social psychology, from stereotyping to social influence, from attitudes to attraction.

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Research Article

A Theory of Reliance on Individuating Information and Stereotypes in Implicit Judgments of Individuals and Social Groups

We propose a theory of (a) reliance on stereotypes and individuating information in implicit person perception and (b) the relationship between individuation in implicit person perception and shifts in implicit group stereotypes. The present research preliminarily tested this theory by assessing whether individuating information or stereotypes take primacy in implicit judgments of individuals under circumstances specified by our model and then testing the malleability of implicit group stereotypes in the presence of the same (or additional) counterstereotypic individuating information. Studies 1 and 2 conceptually replicated previous research by examining the effects of stereotype-inconsistent and stereotype-consistent individuating information on implicit stereotype-relevant judgments of individuals. Both studies showed that stereotypic implicit judgments of individuals made in the absence of individuating information were reversed when the individuals were portrayed as stereotype-inconsistent and were strengthened when targets were portrayed as stereotype-consistent (though in Study 2 this strengthening was descriptive rather than inferential). Studies 3 and 4 examined whether the strong effects of individuating information found in studies 1 and 2 extended to the social groups to which the individuals belonged. Even in the presence of up to eight counterstereotypic exemplars, there was no evidence of significant shifts in group stereotypes. Thus, the data showed that the shifts in implicit judgments that were caused by individuating information did not generalize to stereotypes of the social groups to which the individuals belong. Finally, we propose modifications to our theory that include potential reasons for this lack of generalization that we invite future research to explore.

Review Article

Organizational Justice and Health: Reviewing Two Decades of Studies

Organizational justice refers to employees’ perceptions of the fairness of decision-making rules and policies in the workplace. Lack of justice is suggested to be a significant psychosocial risk factor that affects employees’ attitudes and health. The aim of this narrative review was to compile the evidence available about the effects of organizational justice on health. To this end, a literature search was carried out using the Web of Science, PubMed, and PsycINFO databases. The final sample consisted of 103 articles that studied the effects of justice on mental health (40 results), job stress (26), sickness absence (15), physical health (14), absenteeism/presenteeism (3), safety at work (3), and health of third parties (2). The results show that perceptions of workplace justice predict employees’ mental health, stress-related health problems, and lower levels of sickness absence were relatively compelling. Future studies should focus on less-researched outcomes and on how these associations are modified by other variables for a better understanding of how justice affects health, with a view to being able to carry out preventive measures more efficiently.

Review Article

Beyond Reciprocity: Forgiveness, Generosity, and Punishment in Continuing Dyadic Interactions

There is a long-standing debate in philosophy and the social sciences about how selfishness and cooperation function in dyadic social exchanges. Dyads are the foundation of our social lives, and reciprocity has long been considered the dominant strategy for dyadic interactions. We will argue the repertoire of human behavior during social exchanges ranges from punishment to generosity, and that the nuances of the relationship and interaction will dictate which behavior is likely to occur. We will examine emotional consequences of punishment, reciprocity, and forgiveness in long-term dyadic social exchanges. Finally, we argue that dyads move beyond reciprocity to a more forgiving, generous strategy to reestablish cooperation, and continue the relationship when noncooperation arises, once the motivations shift has occurred.

Journal of Theoretical Social Psychology
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2021, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.