Summer 2017

Newsletter Editor: Manfred Schmitt (


In this Issue

  • News from the President
  • Next President of the International Society for Justice Research: Call for nominations
  • 17th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Justice Research
  • Other Justice Related Conferences
  • Justice Related Research Grants
  • Justice Related Dissertations
  • Justice Related Books
  • Recent Justice-Related Publications of ISJR Members
  • ISJR Membership and Listserv


News from the President


Dear ISJR members,

The ISJR conference takes place once every two years, and 2017 is a year in which we will have to do without one. Fortunately there is much to look forward to: Many of our members have their summer schedules filled with different conferences, seminars, collaborations, or writing. Moreover, we do already know what dates in 2018 to keep free in our schedule: The next ISJR conference will take place from 25 to 28 July at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. More information, and a call for papers, will follow shortly. We hope to see you all in Atlanta!


In the meantime, ISJR has various other activities that may be of interest to its members. Here, I would like to call your attention to the ISJR book series Perspectives on Morality and Justice with Oxford University Press. Writing or editing a book is a major effort, but can also be truly rewarding. A book is an ideal way to summarize all the evidence for a new theory, or to communicate science to a broad audience. Starting a first book project will inevitably place a scholar out of their comfort zone initially, but this will help one grow as a scientist. Once completed, a good book can make a substantial contribution to the field.


In the past five years, Carolyn Hafer has coordinated this series by serving as book series editor for ISJR. Her term will end in September 2017. Hereby I would like to offer a heart-felt thanks to Carolyn for her work in this role, and her dedication to ISJR more generally! At the end of her term, Mario Gollwitzer will take over the role of ISJR book series editor. Also many thanks to Mario, and I wish him much success with this responsibility! Any member who is interested in starting a book project, please do not hesitate get in touch with Mario.


Jan-Willem van Prooijen



Next President of the International Society for Justice Research: Call for nominations

Dear ISJR members,


It is time for us to begin the process of selecting the next President of ISJR. This is a call for nominations.

The next President will serve as President-Elect from September 2017 until taking over as President at the next conference in Atlanta, July 2018. He/she will then serve as President until our 2020 conference. Typically, the President then serves as Past-President until the following President is elected (in 2021 in this case).


If you would like to nominate someone for ISJR President, please send a brief note and a copy of the nominee's vita to Jan-Willem van Prooijen ( by August 28, 2017. Self-nominations are also welcome. Submission of a nomination will be taken as evidence of the nominee's willingness to stand for election.


Below is a brief description of the duties of President-Elect and President of ISJR, quoted from the ISJR administrative handbook and bylaws.


"The primary tasks of the president-elect are to identify potential sponsors for the ISJR conference that will be held at the end of his or her term, and in sufficient time that the next conference location can be decided upon and announced at the interim ISJR conference. In addition, the president-elect should recruit members willing to run for secretary and treasurer."


"Together with the Executive Board the President is responsible for providing leadership, maintaining the current operations of the Society (sponsorship and organization of meetings, production of newsletters, selection of members, collection of dues, etc.), and for stimulating new ways in which the Society may promote research and communication in the field."


Best wishes,

Jan-Willem van Prooijen

17th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Justice Research

Plans for the 2018 biannual meeting of ISJR are underway. The Atlanta, GA meeting will be hosted by Emory University, in conjunction with Georgia State University and University of Georgia, July 25-28. Under the theme of Interrogating Injustice, the meeting will highlight issues related to race and to the distribution of health care resources, among other social justice concerns. Look for the formal Call for Papers in the fall as well as information on the conference website (a link will be available at The organizing committee welcomes suggestions for symposia or themed sessions. In addition, Manfred Schmitt and Clara Sabbagh will once again conduct a workshop for graduate students on July 25.


Beyond program sessions, preliminary plans include optional activities: the gala dinner at the Carter Presidential Center and Library; a tour of the Martin Luther King Center and the Center for Civil and Human Rights; and an evening excursion to Ponce City Market, a mixed-use development that features the city’s unique history and culture, offers a wide array of international cuisines in its food court, and touts some of the best views of the skyline from its rooftop. Accommodations will be available at the Emory Conference Center and in university residence halls. Details on the program, submission of papers/posters, and accommodations will be available in fall. For other inquiries, please email


Justice Related Conferences



Croatian Psychologists Association, together with the Croatian Psychological Chambers, Zadar Psychologists Society, and the Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, is organising the 25th Annual Conference of Croatian Psychologists (GKHP). The conference will be held November 8-11, 2017 in Zadar, Croatia (Hotel Falkensteiner Resort Borik).


CONFERENCE THEME: „Psychology in the promotion and protection of human rights and social justice“


KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Dominic Abrams, University of Kent, UK, Maja Gabelica Šupljika, the Office of the Ombudsman for Children, Zagreb, Croatia, Polli Hagenaars, European Federation of Psychologists Associations - Board on Human Rights and Psychology, Jan-Willem van Prooijen, International Society for Justice Research, and Tom Warnecke, Executive Board of the European Association for Psychotherapy.


25. GKHP is a scientific and professional meeting with international participation. The conference official languages are Croatian and English.


Researchers from a variety of disciplines with a common interest in the issues of human rights and social justice are invited to submit their abstracts (200-400 words) by August 20, 2017. Participation forms include (but are not reduced to) symposia (4-5 papers), individual oral and poster presentations, and the round table discussions about pertinent professional or research topics.


Information about the registration fee and deadlines is provided at


Further information about the conference, including the subthemes, participation forms, and the online submission procedure, is available at (Please note that at the moment of this announcement the English version is still under construction but will be available soon. Until then and in case of any further need of assistance, please contact the Programme Committee at and/or the Organising Committee at


We look forward to meeting you in Zadar!

Vera Cubela Adoric,

Chair of the 25th GKHP Programme Committee





A panel on reciprocity and distributive justice at ISA Toronto (15-21 July 2018) is accepting individual submissions:

Justice Related Research Grants

Research Training Group: Expectation Maintenance vs. Change in the Context of Expectation Violations: Connecting Different Approaches


Dear colleagues,

As of October 2017, the Department of Psychology at Philipps University Marburg will be hosting a new Research Training Group (RTG) titled “Expectation Maintenance vs. Change in the Context of Expectation Violations: Connecting Different Approaches” (GRK 2271).


The RTG is funded by the German Research Foundation. It includes up to 14 research assistant positions (postgraduate level) and offers PhD students a vibrant research environment, intensive supervision, the acquisition of multidisciplinary skills, and an international network of collaborators. More information about the RTG can be found here:


The Department of Psychology is now accepting applications for these research assistant positions. They will start October 1, 2017 and are funded for 3 years. Salary and benefits correspond to a public service position in Germany (TV-H E 13). Duties include the independent development, execution, and analysis of empirical studies according to the RTG’s research program, contributions to scientific publications, regular and active participation in the RTG’s qualification program, and an active contribution to the training group’s success.


My colleagues and I would be grateful if you could pass on this information to potentially interested students. A brief description of PhD projects as well as project-specific requirements can be found here:


Applicants are requested to apply for a specific project; applying for more than one project is possible. The application deadline is June 30, 2017.


Best regards,

Mario Gollwitzer

Justice-Related Dissertations

Bianca E. C. von Wurzbach: Trust in Strangers Among Disadvantaged People: The Power of Implicit Just-World Beliefs


How do individuals judge the trustworthiness of strangers under complete information uncertainty and how does this process differ as a function of (dis-)advantaged group membership perception? The present thesis suggests that individuals adjust their trust in unknown others to their implicit dispositional and situational belief in a just world (BJW). Importantly, accurate trustworthiness judgments are of increased relevance for the goal attainment of socially disadvantaged (vs. advantaged) individuals because these people lack material and social resources to compensate inaccurate trust decisions. Thus, individuals who perceive themselves as members of socially disadvantaged groups should assign more importance to trust judgments, search more thoroughly for reliable information on strangers’ trustworthiness, and rely on their implicit dispositional and situational BJW as judgmental heuristics when no further information is available in the situation. Confirming these assumptions, among subjectively socially disadvantaged participants of a small-scale correlational study (Study 1) and the World Value Survey Wave 3 (Study 2), trust in strangers increased with dispositional BJW. Moreover, three experimental studies (Study 3 to 5) showed that for people of this group who held high dispositional BJW, just-world information further increased, whereas just-world threat decreased trust in strangers. Due to ground effects, the latter effect was, as predicted, absent for subjectively socially disadvantaged individuals with low dispositional BJW. For participants perceiving themselves as socially advantaged, no or smaller effects emerged. Results remained, independent of whether subjective social (dis-)advantage status was measured (SES, gender, ethnicity) or experimentally varied. An intern meta-analysis (Study 6) highlighted the robustness of the effects.




Konrad Jamro: Income Inequality and Generalized Trust: a Spurious Relation Explained by Cultural Values


In my dissertation research I studied a relationship between income inequality and social trust, claimed in the literature as casual. In the first study, I tested the existing, individual-level, arguments for the relationship between inequality and trust. I rooted those causal claims in social categorization and justice theory. The results of mediation analyses did not provide support for those claims: there was no evidence that higher income inequality leads to lower propensity to trust, either directly or indirectly through social categorization and perceptions of fairness of inequality. However, in the second study an alternative model was tested and supported by the analysis of two different datasets. More specifically, it was found that the relationship between income inequality and generalized trust was confounded by cultural values: the cultural dimension of autonomy-embeddedness was negatively related to income inequality and positively to generalized trust, and the cultural dimension of harmony-mastery was negatively related to income inequality. Moreover, it was found that within-country changes of embeddedness were positively related to generalized trust measured four years later.




Niels Van Doesum: Social mindfulness


One broad topic investigated by Van Doesum is how target social class affects prosocial behavior, operationalized using a social mindfulness paradigm that focuses on leaving or limiting choice to others. He offers three lines of reasoning, predicting that lower class targets either elicit greater prosociality than higher class targets (fairness), that higher class targets elicit greater prosociality (status), or that people are most prosocial to targets from their own social class (similarity). Across four studies, he finds that participants behave less prosocially (i.e., are less socially mindful) toward higher class targets relative to lower and/or middle class targets. Perceptions of similarity, warmth, and competence did not mediate lower prosociality for higher relative to lower class targets. Together, results are most consistent with a fairness perspective. Across all studies, we also found that self social class had little to no relationship with prosociality. In total, results suggest that social class is relevant for prosocial behavior, but that target social class matters more than self social class.




Zoi Manesi: Prosocial Behavior Under Surveillance: Understanding the Eye-Images Effect


The watching eyes effect has generated remarkable interest but also extensive debate in the psychology literature. This phenomenon is based on the premise that eye cues serve as a reminder of reputation: Humans care about how they are perceived by others and they tend to enact socially desirable behaviors in the presence of cues to social surveillance (Milinski, 2016). Although images of watching eyes are evidently ficticious cues to surveillance, they are found to enhance a range of prosocial behaviors and to be increasingly utilized as an intervention to promote norm adherence (Sparks & Barclay, 2013). The present dissertation contributes to answering these key questions by exploring: (a) what is it about eyes that matters, (b) which types of prosocial behavior can eye images promote, and (c) whether eye images are a stronger predictor of prosociality as compared to other determinants of prosocial behavior.




Junhui Wu: Understanding Human Cooperation: The Psychology of Gossip, Reputation, and Life History


The findings of Junhui Wu's dissertation suggest that gossip and reputation monitoring may increase cooperation and thus provide a cost-effective solution to promoting cooperation. Indeed, such reputation systems already exist in many contexts, such as online anonymous exchange forums (e.g., Jøsang, Ismail, & Boyd, 2007). Thus, to establish interpersonal trust and cooperative relationships, it may be useful to think creatively about the more informal reputation systems, rather than costly sanctioning systems. We did not find a direct relation between life history strategy and cooperation in economic games. However, the current findings suggest that the development of slower (compared to faster) strategies comes together with enhanced levels of prosocial orientation, reputational concern, and trust in others. Looking back and ahead, we stress the importance of reputation monitoring and spreading in groups and social networks to promote trust and cooperation in society at large. 


Justice-Related Books

Natural Resources and Environmental Justice: Australian Perspectives


A comprehensive examination of justice research on resource, environmental and community issues.


Edited by: Anna Lukasiewicz, Stephen Dovers, Libby Robin, Jennifer McKay, Steven Schilizzi, and Sonia Graham. Published by CSIRO Publishing, Clayton, Victoria.


Environmental management involves making decisions about the governance of natural resources such as water, minerals or land, which are inherently decisions about what is just or fair. Yet, there is little emphasis on justice in environmental management research or practical guidance on how to achieve fairness and equity in environmental governance and public policy. This results in social dilemmas that are significant issues for government, business and community agendas, causing conflict between different community interests.


Natural Resources and Environmental Justice provides the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary examination of justice research in Australian environmental management, identifying best practice and current knowledge gaps. With chapters written by experts in environmental and social sciences, law and economics, this book covers topical issues, including coal seam gas, desalination plants, community relations in mining, forestry negotiations, sea-level rise and animal rights. It also proposes a social justice framework and an agenda for future justice research in environmental management. These important environmental issues are covered from an Australian perspective and the book will be of broad use to policy makers, researchers and managers in natural resource management and governance, environmental law, social impact and related fields both in Australia and abroad. - See more at:


Recent Justice-Related Publications of ISJR Members