Positive versus negative framing affects justice judgments

Eyal Gamliel*, Eyal Peer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This research demonstrates the effect of framing on justice judgments. Presenting identical allocation situations in different modes of accomplishing the resource allocation, resulting in either positive (benefits) or negative (harms) outcomes, affects justice judgments. Two independent studies revealed that participants judged non-egalitarian principles (i.e., merit, ability, effort, need, and tenure) as more just when allocation of a resource was presented in the positive framing manner (e.g., to deliver goods or to withhold bads) relative to presenting the exact same resource allocated in a negative framing manner (e.g., to deliver bads or to withhold goods). It is suggested that the way resource allocation is framed evokes favorable (or unfavorable) associations that cause people to judge the situation as more (or less) just.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)307-322
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Justice Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from The Israel Foundations Trustees (2004–2006). We are grateful to Prof. Kjell Tçrnblom, Prof. John T. Jost, SJR editor, and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper.


  • Framing
  • Justice judgments
  • Positive versus negative modes of allocation
  • Resource allocation


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