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When being overpaid makes me feel good about myself: It depends on how the other feels

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  • De Cremer, David
  • Van Kleef, Gerben A.

Abstract

The present research examined whether the emotions of others (i.e., disappointment versus happiness with respect to a received outcome) influence own self-esteem when being overpaid. Results from two experiments demonstrated that participants reported higher performance self-esteem when the other expressed happiness rather than disappointment. This effect was only found in the condition where one was overpaid relative to the condition where one did not yet know one's own outcome. In the second experimental study we further found that this interaction between the emotion of the other and the distribution situation only emerged among participants low (relative to high) in personal need for structure. Implications with respect to the relationship between overpayment and self-esteem and the interpersonal effects of emotions in this process are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • De Cremer, David & Van Kleef, Gerben A., 2009. "When being overpaid makes me feel good about myself: It depends on how the other feels," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 793-802, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:30:y:2009:i:5:p:793-802
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    2. Greenberg, Jerald & Ashton-James, Claire E. & Ashkanasy, Neal M., 2007. "Social comparison processes in organizations," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 22-41, January.
    3. Mayseless, Ofra & Kruglanski, Arie W., 1987. "What makes you so sure? Effects of epistemic motivations on judgmental confidence," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 162-183, April.
    4. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    5. Colquitt, Jason A. & Scott, Brent A. & Judge, Timothy A. & Shaw, John C., 2006. "Justice and personality: Using integrative theories to derive moderators of justice effects," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 110-127, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Desmet, Pieter T.M. & Cremer, David De & Dijk, Eric van, 2011. "In money we trust? The use of financial compensations to repair trust in the aftermath of distributive harm," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 75-86, March.
    2. Haesevoets, Tessa & Van Hiel, Alain & Reinders Folmer, Chris & De Cremer, David, 2014. "What money can’t buy: The psychology of financial overcompensation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 83-95.
    3. Haesevoets, Tessa & Reinders Folmer, Chris & De Cremer, David & Van Hiel, Alain, 2013. "Money isn’t all that matters: The use of financial compensation and apologies to preserve relationships in the aftermath of distributive harm," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 95-107.

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