My research group is concerned with a variety of issues broadly related to the dynamics of authority within groups, organizations, and societies. As psychologists, our particular interest is in the factors that shape people's motivations when they are dealing with others in group settings.
Because justice has been found to be especially important to people's motivation when dealing with others, we study social justice. In particular, our work focuses on the psychology of procedural justice - the fairness of group rules and processes. Research consistently finds that people are strongly influenced by their assessments of procedural justice when they are evaluating authorities and institutions.
Volume I. Procedural justice and the dynamics of authority.
Volume II. Procedural justice and governance.
Heather Berry. Hab225@nyu.edu
- Sense of justice in animals.
Jennifer Brooke. Jen.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Justice in intergroup relations.
Suzette Caleo. email@example.com
- Gender effects in justice.
Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff. Hollande@juris.law.nyu.edu
- Procedural justice and negotiation in legal disputes.
Margarita Krochik. firstname.lastname@example.org
- The justice of political procedures.
Amy Krosch. email@example.com
- Implicit and unconscious justice processes.
Avital Mentovich. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Group based injustice.
Lindsay Rankin. Lindsay.email@example.com
- Justice in group procedures.
Jennifer Ray. firstname.lastname@example.org
- The justice of legal procedures.
Jojanneke Van der Toorn. Jojanneke@nyu.edu
- Political participation in immigrant groups.
- The influence of power and status on legitimacy
He is currently the Chair of the Psychology Department.
Office: Room 579,
New York University
6 Washington Place.
NY, NY 10003
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I explore the motivations that lead people to cooperate when they are within groups. There are two aspects of such cooperation. First, there is deference to authority. The study of regulation is generally concerned with understanding why people accept the decisions made by others. Legitimacy, the quality of being viewed as being entitled to be obeyed, is consistently linked to exercising authority in fair ways.
Because of its implications for regulation, my work has always shared a connection with the concerns of the field of law. The question of how to manage undesirable behavior is central to the work of legal authorities, and I examine the motivations that shape people's rule-related behavior.
My primary book on this topic (Tyler, 2006) establishes the key role of legitimacy in shaping obedience to the law. That finding is important to bringing psychology into social regulation, since the study of law-related behavior had been dominated by economics analysis linking behavior to sanctions. My work shows that people will also take one the responsibility for obeying the law when asked to do so by a legitimate authority. In other words, people become self-regulatory. The further finding in my work that procedural justice is a key antecedent of legitimacy has led to a literature on procedural justice in legal institutions and in interactions with legal authorities.
The findings of this book have been widely cited within law. They are important because the question of how to motivate compliance with law and legal rules is central to many areas of law and these findings therefore have wide applicability. Recent applications include the study of commitment hearings in mental hospitals, people's reactions to mass tort settlements, the emergence of international law, and the popularity of mediation hearings.
Reissued with a new afterword: (2006).
Tyler , T.R. (2006). Legitimacy and legitimation. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 375-400.
Tyler , T.R. (2006). Legitimacy and legitimation. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 375-400.
My most recent contribution to this literature is my book Trust in the Law (Tyler and Huo, 2002) which explores deference to legal authorities among minorities. This book builds upon the earlier book Why People Obey the Law and again shows that procedural justice is a key antecedent of deference and of legitimacy. However, in Trust in the Law, ethnic group differences are more directly addressed. This book argues that legal authorities can build on the strong procedural justice findings I outline in my work to create a new model of regulation. I refer to that model as process-based regulation.
Trust in the Law is based on a sample of interviews with White, African-American, and Hispanic residents of these two cities. The focus of the study is on people's voluntary acceptance of decisions made by legal authorities. The results show that people's willingness to defer to legal authorities is shaped by two social motivations: procedural justice and motive-based trust. This finding suggests that authorities have considerable ability to gain deference from community members by treating them in ways that encourage judgments that the procedures used are fair and the motives underlying actions are benevolent. The study indicates that treating people with dignity and respect heightens both of these judgments.
Trust and confidence in the police and courts
A second project using this approach explores people's overall trust and confidence in the legitimacy of the police and the courts. This set of studies is concerned with the way that the average community resident makes evaluations of legal authorities, irrespective of whether they have had a personal experience with those authorities. Again, the question I am concerned with is the degree to which process issues shape public evaluations. A contrasting view is that often associated with the NYPD and its aggressive policing policies. That view is that the middle class is primarily interested in crime reduction and accepts the occurrence of unfair treatment toward, at least, minorities in the service of that goal. Several studies of mine suggest that this belief is not correct. In a reanalysis of previously collected surveys, I showed that people's evaluations of the police and courts are heavily influenced by procedural justice based judgments.
Recently, I have been studying public views about the police and policing activities a sample of New Yorkers will be interviewed this summer about their views on the police, as well as about their personal experiences with police officers through interviews over the telephone with New Yorkers.
Why do these interviews? We live in the midst of difficult and changing times. The events of September 11th highlight the risks of terrorism in America, while recent budget reductions make clear that we are living in a time of fiscal limits. No agency is more strongly affected by these changes than the New York City Police Department. To most effectively manage policing activities during these changing times, we need to have a clear understanding of how the public views the police. It is for this reason that we are conducting interviews with the residents of different neighborhoods in New York City. The interviews provide valuable feedback to those managing the police department and the city about public views regarding the activities of the NYPD. To this end, I have been conducting surveys of the residents of New York to better understand how people feel about policing services in their neighborhoods.
I am currently studying how policing tactics are experienced among Islamic Americans, the targets of anti-terror policing. My argument is that cooperation from the community diminishes when people feel that they are being singled out for unfair policing activities. To understand the experiments of members of the community I am conducting interviews in Brooklyn and London.
The Administrative Office of the Courts in California has launched a five year initiative on Procedural Fairness in the California Courts. The goal is to redesign the courts with an eye toward procedural justice.
The Russell Sage Foundation created a working group on legitimacy in the criminal justice system which produced a volume on the issue of legitimacy as it influences policing in societies around the world. That volume is titled Legitimacy and Criminal Justice.
I have presented several lectures on legitimacy in the criminal justice system. The first was the Montesquieu Lecture at Tilburg University. I also presented the keynote address at the European Society of Criminology and gave the Reckless/Dinitz Memorial Lecture at Ohio State University. The general theme of these presentations is the need to shift the focus of criminal justice toward creating and maintaining legitimacy.
Readings on law and regulation
Tyler, T.R. (1988). What is procedural justice?: Criteria used by citizens to assess the fairness of legal procedures. Law and Society Review, 22, 103-135.
Casper, J.D., Tyler, T.R., and Fisher, B. (1988). Procedural justice in felony cases. Law and Society Review, 22, 483-507.
MacCoun, R.J., and Tyler, T.R. (1988). The basis of citizens' preferences for different forms of criminal jury. Law and Human Behavior, 12, 333-352.
Tyler, T.R., Casper, J.D., and Fisher, B. (1989). Maintaining allegiance toward political authorities: The role of prior attitudes and the use of fair procedures. American Journal of Political Science, 33, 629 - 652.
Tyler, T.R. (1989). The quality of dispute resolution processes and outcomes: Measurement problems and possibilities. Denver University Law Review, 66, 419 - 436.
Tyler, T.R. (1992). The psychological consequences of judicial procedures: Implications for civil commitment hearings. Southern Methodist University Law Review, 46, 401-413.
Tyler, T.R. (1993). Legitimizing unpopular public policies: Does procedure matter? Zeitschrift fur Rechtssoziologie, 14, 47-54.
Tyler, T.R., and Mitchell, G. (1994). Legitimacy and the empowerment of discretionary legal authority: The United States Supreme Court and abortion rights. Duke Law Journal, 43, 703-814.
Tyler, T.R. (1997). Compliance with intellectual property laws: A psychological perspective. Journal of International Law and Politics, 28,101-115.
Tyler, T.R. (1997). Citizen discontent with legal procedures. American Journal of Comparative Law, 45, 869-902.
Tyler, T.R. (1997). Procedural fairness and compliance with the law. Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 133, 219-240.
Tyler, T.R., and Boeckmann, R. (1997). Three strikes and you are out, but why? The psychology of public support for punishing rule breakers. Law and Society Review, 31, 237-265.
Tyler, T.R. (1998). Public mistrust of the law: A political perspective. University of Cincinnati Law Review, 66, 847-876.
Tyler, T.R., and Darley, J. (2000). Building a law-abiding society: Taking public views about morality and the legitimacy of legal authorities into account when formulating substantive law. Hofstra Law Review, 28, 707-739.
Tyler, T.R. (2001). Public trust and confidence in legal authorities: What do majority and minority group members want from the law and legal authorities? Behavioral Science and the Law, 19, 215-235.
Tyler, T.R. (2001). Trust and law abiding behavior: Building better relationships between the police, the courts, and the minority community. Boston University Law Review, 81, 361-406.
Tyler, T.R. (2002). A national survey for monitoring police legitimacy. Justice research and policy, 4, 71-86.
Sunshine, J., and Tyler, T.R. (2003). The role of procedural justice and legitimacy in shaping public support for policing. Law and Society Review, 37, 555-589.
Sunshine, J., and Tyler, T.R. (2003). Moral solidarity, identification with the community, and the importance of procedural justice. Social Psychology Quarterly, 66, 153-165.
Tyler, T.R. (2003). Procedural justice, legitimacy, and the effective rule of law. In M. Tonry (ed.), Crime and Justice, 30, 431-505.
Tyler, T.R., and Thorisdottir, H. (2003). A psychological perspective on compensation for harm: Examining the September 11 th Victim Compensation Fund. DePaul Law Review, 53, 355-391.
Tyler, T.R. (2004). Affirmative action in an institutional context: The antecedents of policy preferences and political support. Social Justice Research, 17, 5-24.
Tyler, T.R. (2004). Procedural justice. In A. Sarat (Ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Law and Society. Malden, MA: Blackwell. (pp. 435-452).
Tyler, T.R. (2004). Enhancing Police Legitimacy. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (W. G. Skogan, Ed.), 593, 84-99.
Tyler, T.R., and Wakslak, C. (2004). Profiling and the legitimacy of the police: Procedural justice, attributions of motive, and the acceptance of social authority. Criminology, 42, 13-42.
Tyler, T.R. (2005). Process based leadership: Fair procedures, identification, and the acceptance of change. Leadership Quarterly, 16, 121-153.
Tyler, T.R. (2005). Promoting employee policy adherence and rule following in work settings. Brooklyn Law Review, 70, 1287-1312.
Fagan, J., and Tyler, T.R. (2005). Legal socialization of children and adolescents. Social Justice Research, 18, 217-242.
Tyler, T.R. (2006). What do they expect?: New findings confirm the precepts of procedural fairness. California Court Review, Winter, 22-24.
Tyler, T.R. (2007). Do Americans accept the rule of law? DePaul Law Review, 56, 661-694.
Tyler, T.R., Callahan, P. & Frost, J. (2007). Armed, and dangerous(?): Can self-regulatory approaches shape rule adherence among agents of social control. Law and Society Review, 41 (2), 457-492.
Tyler, T.R., Sherman, L.W., Strang, H., Barnes, G.C. & Woods, D.J. (2007). Reintegrative shaming, procedural justice, and recidivism: The engagement of offenders’ psychological mechanisms in the Canberra RISE drinking-and-driving experiment. Law and Society Review, 41(3), 553-586.
Tyler, T.R. (2008). Psychology and institutional design. Review of Law and Economics (symposium issue on Law and Social Norms). The Berkeley Electronic Press, 4(3), 801-887.
Tyler, T.R. (2008). Procedural justice and the courts. Court Review, 44(1/2), 26-31.
Murphy, K. & Tyler, T.R. (2008). Procedural justice and compliance behaviour: The mediating role of emotions. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 652-668.
Tyler, T.R. & Fagan, J. (2008). Why do people cooperate with the police? Ohio Journal of Criminal Law, 6, 231-275.
Tyler, T.R. (2009). Procedural justice, identity and deference to the law: What shapes rule following in a period of transition? Australian Journal of Psychology, 61, 32-39.
I am interested in understanding why people care about and react to their evaluations of the fairness or unfairness of procedures. The procedural justice effect has emerged as a robust and compelling one, with people shown to react to how decisions are made in a wide variety of groups, organizations, and societies.
In early studies, I looked at psychological models of the justice motive, and argued that people are concerned about issues of identity and status. Further, I suggested that people use the justice of procedures to tell them about their status and to evaluate the degree to which they want to define their identity in terms of groups to which they belong (Lind and Tyler, 1988; Tyler and Lind, 1992).
This idea unfolds in my work two ways. First, in the finding that people care about the fairness of procedures more than about the favorability or fairness of outcomes. Early justice research focused primarily on issues of equity (outcome fairness) on the assumption that outcomes are the key issue. My work helped to shift the focus to issues of procedure by showing the importance of procedural justice judgments.
Second, my work helped to establish that people do not view procedures in instrumental terms, i.e. as a way to obtain outcomes. That view is explicit in the classic work on procedural justice by John Thibaut and Laurens Walker (1975). Instead, procedures are valued because they communicate status and inclusion in groups (Lind and Tyler, 1988). This distinction between instrumental and value-expressive or relational motivations underlying procedural justice effects has transformed the way that psychologists think about the meaning and implications of procedural justice findings.
I have extended this line of thinking to the study of authority relations (Tyler and Lind, 1992) arguing that people view group authorities as representatives of the group, and are therefore sensitive to how those authorities exercise their authority. Using fair procedures to exercise authority both communicates that the people one is dealing with are respected by the group, and it suggests that the group is one that is worth identifying with and being involved in.
Most recently, my work has sought to understand the relationship between justice and identity. I view justice as a key issue that people focus on when trying to define themselves and their relationship to their group.
Tyler, T.R., and Lind, E.A. (1992). A relational model of authority in groups. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 25, pp. 115 - 191).
Tyler, T.R. (1994). Psychological models of the justice motive. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 850-863.
Tyler, T.R., Degoey, P., and Smith, H. (1996). Understanding why the justice of group procedures matters: A test of the psychological dynamics of the group-value model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 913-930.
Tyler, T.R. (1989). The psychology of procedural justice: A test of the group value model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 830 - 838.
Smith, H.J., and Tyler, T.R. (1996). Justice and power: Can justice motivations and superordinate categorizations encourage the advantaged to support policies which redistribute economic resources and encourage the disadvantaged to willingly obey the law? European Journal of Social Psychology, 26, 171-200.
Huo, Y.J., Smith, H.J., Tyler, T.R., and Lind, E.A. (1996). Superordinate identification, subgroup identification, and justice concerns: Is separatism the problem, is assimilation the answer? Psychological Science, 7, 40-45.
Tyler, T.R., and Smith, H. (1997). Social justice and social movements. In D. Gilbert, S. Fiske, G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of Social Psychology (4th edition, vol. 2, pp.595-629). N.Y.: McGraw-Hill.
Tyler, T.R. The psychology of legitimacy (1997). Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1, 323-344.
Smith, H.J., and Tyler, T.R. (1997). Choosing the right pond: The influence of the status of one's group and one's status in that group on self-esteem and group-oriented behaviors. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 33, 146-170.
Smith, H.J., Tyler, T.R., Huo, Y.J., Ortiz, D.J., and Lind, E.A. (1998). The self-relevant implications of the group-value model: Group membership, self-worth, and procedural justice. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 34, 470-493.
Tyler, T.R. (2000). Social justice: Outcome and procedure. International Journal of Psychology, 35, 117-125.
Tyler, T.R. and Blader, S.L. (2001). Identity and prosocial behavior in groups. Group processes and intergroup relations, 4(3), 207-226.
Tyler, T.R. (2001). Social justice. In R. Brown and S. Gaertner (Eds.), Blackwell Handbook of Social Psychology. Volume 4: Intergroup processes (pp. 344-366). London: Blackwell.
Blader, S. and Tyler, T.R. (2002). Empathy and justice as reasons for helping victims. In M. Ross and D.T. Miller (Eds.), The justice motive in everyday life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (pp. 226-250).
Tyler, T.R., and Blader, S. (2002). The influence of status judgments in hierarchical groups: Comparing autonomous and comparative judgments about status. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 89, 813-838.
Blader, S., and Tyler, T.R. (2003). What constitutes fairness in work settings? A four-component model of procedural justice. Human Resource Management Review, 12, 107-126.
Blader, S., and Tyler, T.R. (2003). A four component model of procedural justice: Defining the meaning of a "fair" process. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 747-758.
Tyler, T.R., and Blader, S. (2003). Procedural justice, social identity, and cooperative behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7, 349-361.
DeCremer, D., and Tyler, T.R. (2005). Managing group behavior: The interplay between procedural justice, sense of self, and cooperation. Mark Zanna (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. N.Y.: Academic press.
Tyler, T.R (2006). Restorative justice and procedural justice. Journal of Social Issues, 62, 305-323.
Smith, H.J., Thomas, T.R. & Tyler, T.R. (2006). Concrete construction employees: When does procedural justice shape self-evaluations? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 36, 644-663.
Tyler, T.R. (2006). Process utility and help seeking. Journal of Economic Psychology, 27, 360-376.
Van Knippenberg, B., Martin, L. & Tyler, T.R. (2006). Process orientation versus outcome orientation during organizational change: The role of organizational identification. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 62, 307-326.
Sondak, H. & Tyler, T.R. (2007). How does procedural justice shape the desirability of markets. Journal of Economic Psychology, 28, 79-92.
Okimoto, T. & Tyler, T.R. (2007). Is compensation enough?: Relational concerns in responding to unintended inequity. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 10, 399-420.
De Cremer, D. &Tyler, T.R. (2007). The effects of trust and procedural justice on cooperation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 639-649.
Davis, A., Tyler, T.R. & Andersen, S. (2007). Building community one relationship at a time. Social Justice Research, 20(2), 181-206.
Kivetz, Y. & Tyler, T.R. (2007). Tomorrow I’ll be me: The effect of time perspective on the activation of idealistic versus pragmatic selves. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 102, 193-211.
Blader, S. & Tyler, T.R. (2009). Testing and expanding the group engagement model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 445-464.
Smith, H.J., Olson, G., Agronick, G. & Tyler, T.R. (2009). Everyday interactions with university authorities: Authority treatment quality, outcome favorability and first-year students’ university adjustment. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 12(2), 209-226.
Barry, H. & Tyler, T.R. (2009). Repairing the damage of membership in an unfair group: Procedural injustice and group-serving behaviors. Psychological Science, 20(8), 1026-1032.
Rankin, L. & Tyler, T.R. (in press). Procedural justice and cooperation in groups. Special issue. The psychology of justice and its applications. Netherlands Journal of Psychology.
The dynamics of authority are central to all models of governance. Hence, my work on the basis of deference to authorities has been important in discussions about how to govern society.
In particular, I have written about the problems associated with governance in diverse, multicultural, societies. As I noted above, Trust in the Law discusses issues of diversity and multiculturalism as those issues are important to the rules of law.
E.A. Lind, Y.J. Huo, T.R. Tyler (1994)…Any justice for all: Ethnicity, gender, and preferences for dispute resolution procedures. Law and Human Behavior, 18, 269-290.
Ohbuchi, K., Kei-ichiro, I., Sugawara, I.,
Napier, J. & Tyler, T.R. (2008). Does moral conviction really override concerns about procedural justice? Social Justice Research, 21, 509-528.
Markell, D. & Tyler, T.R. (2008). Using empirical research to design government citizen participation processes. University of Kansas Law Review, 57(1), 1-38.
Procedural justice encourages people to involve themselves in groups by engaging in voluntary cooperative actions to help the group. This is true in communities, with government, and in work settings. Tyler and Blader (2000) examine this connection in work settings, showing that employees are strongly influenced by the fairness of group decision-making procedures.
My work also connects with the field of organizational behavior in schools of management. It has been widely demonstrated that many key work-related behaviors (job performance, absenteeism, turnover, sabotage, etc.) are shaped by the procedural justice of the workplace. As in other arenas, management theory has been dominated by models that root human motivation in incentives and sanctions. Hence, this demonstration that there are broader motivations on which managers can draw has been widely noticed. In particular, discussions about work increasingly recognize the importance of motivating voluntary (extra-role) behavior in workers. This type of behavior is especially poorly motivated by incentives and sanctions. As a consequence, the social psychological model must become more central to our understanding of work related behaviors.
My recent work seeks to develop a framework within which to understand motivation in work settings. I have conducted interviews with a sample of employees in
Kramer, R., and Tyler, T.R. (Eds.)(1996) Trust in organizations.
Van Vugt, M., Snyder, M.,
Darley, J., Messick, D., and Tyler, T.R. (Eds.) (2001). Social influences on ethical behavior in organizations.
Tyler, T.R. (in press). Why people cooperate. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Bies, R.J. And
Hollander-Blumoff, R. & Tyler, T.R. (2008). Do nice guys finish last? Procedural justice and negotiation outcomes. Law and Social Inquiry, 33, 473-500.
Gonzalez, C. & Tyler, T.R. (2008). The psychology of enfranchisement. Journal of Social Issues, 64, 447-466.
Sacks, A. Levi, M. & Tyler, T.R. (in press) Conceptualizing legitimacy: Measuring legitimating beliefs. American Behavioral Scientist.