This project studies in the experimental tradition of sociological social psychology - justice evaluation, applies this research tradition to substantive field - free rider in the classroom, and seeks to contribute to the methodological debate on the direct versus indirect measurement of social justice (Jasso, 2012; Markovsky & Eriksson, 2012). The “free rider” problem prevalent in the educational setting. When the instructor assigns a group project, some members will inevitably contribute more than others. The instructor can only observe and grade the collective output, thereby creating potential injustice among students in the same group. We use a novel factorial survey design to tackle this problem. Data are collected from 160 students enrolled in three courses. This project let the students serve as both observer and rewardee in the justice evaluation tasks, and estimated the just reward function of grades for each student rewardee in each group. Additionally, by comparing the differences in the just rewards functions, including individual characteristics of student observer and student rewardee, between the direct and indirect estimations, this project engages the methodological debate in the measurement of distributive justice. The analyses display quite similar results based on direct and indirect estimation methods. In the educational context of this project, therefore, the direct measurement might be a more straightforward (and of lower-cost) approach to adjust individual’s grade of the group project. But we have to note that in situations where it is cognitively difficult to obtain the just reward, we would recommend an indirect estimation to take individual’s justice evaluation preference into account. More discussion about the relative merits and limitations of the two estimation methods of just rewards and suggestion how to apply the sociology of justice to address the free-rider problem at large are in the conclusion.
|Effective start/end date||2019/08/01 → 2021/02/28|
- Justice evaluation
- direct measure
- indirect measure
- factorial survey
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