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Lüdtke, Sabine (2013): A model of equal opportunity. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences



Fairness assumptions have a lot of positive consequences. For example, is the perceived justice relevant to job satisfaction and attitudes towards distributions of social goods. But what is a fair distribution of social goods? In the distributive justice research three principles can be distinguished according to which justice judgments are made: Need, equality and equity. The first article of this dissertation examines how justice for these three principles is perceived. With the model of equal opportunity it is assumed that the assumption of equality between the stakeholders is crucial to the justice judgment. Depending on whether equal opportunity is accepted or not, different principles are perceived. The results in the context of education confirm that the perception of the three principles of justice can be explained by the assumption of equal opportunities. Whether equal opportunity is accepted or not depends on the attitude to equal opportunities. In attitude research it is becoming increasingly obvious that implicit (automatic) and explicit (reflected) attitudes influence behaviour. The investigation of implicit and explicit attitudes to equal opportunities and the investigation of the model of equal opportunity in a different context are discussed in the second article of the present dissertation. It is discussed whether cognitive dissonance can dissolve the conclusion that people who implicitly assume equal opportunities prefer need-based distributions. The results in an economic context confirm that it is useful in justice research to differentiate between implicit and explicit attitudes. The third article brings into focus also an economic context it is postulated that the self-concept, namely the whole set of attitudes, opinions, and cognitions that a person has of himself, has an influence on the perception of the three principles of justice and on the model of equal opportunity. The third article of this dissertation examines whether the interdependent self-concept influences the choice of principles of justice. The results confirm this assumption.