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Social Psychology Quarterly 2003, Vol. 66, No. 2,153-165

Moral Solidarity, Identification with the Community, and the Importance of Procedural Justice: The Police as Prototypical Representatives of a Group's Moral Values* JASON SUNSHINE TOM TYLER New York


In this paper we demonstrate that people's cooperation with the police is motivated in part by their judgment that the police are prototypical representatives of the group's moral values, as is predicted by the social identity approach. We further show that people evaluate the degree to which the police reflect the group's moral values by assessing the fairness of the procedures they use to exercise their authority, as is argued by the relational model of authority. Finally, the social identity approach and the relational model of authority are shown to interact: people who are uncertain about their status in the group are shown to be concerned more strongly about procedural justice issues than about issues of distributive justice.

In this paper we attempt to clarify why people support and cooperate with the police. We are concerned about three types of support: compliance with the law, cooperation with the police, and willingness to empower the police with discretionary authority. Our interest is in the motivations that shape these types of public support. We contrast two motivations—instrumental and moral—and explore the importance of each. Instrumental Motivations for Supporting the Police One model is based on the view of people's connection to groups as instrumental. One instrumental model suggests that people support the poUce when they regard them as a credible agent of social control (the risk model); the other links support to a view of the police as effective in managing social disorder (the performance model). Risk. One function of legal authorities is to prevent crime by increasing the likelihood that rule breakers will be caught and punished (Tyler 1990). This belief is represented by the idea of deterrence. Effective deterrence is achieved by increasing the number of * Please address correspondence concerning this paper to Tom Tyler, Department of Psychology, New York University, 6 Washington Place, Room 550, New York, NY 10003;

officers on the street, increasing arrests, and/or increasing the threat or use of force by the police. Hence we might predict that people will cooperate with the police, at least by obeying the law, when they think that risks for noncompliance are high. Performance. Why might people cooperate with the police in fighting crime and public disorder? One possible reason is that they think the police are effective in fighting crime (Tyler 2001; Tyler and Huo 2002). If the police are regarded as effective, community residents may view their help as more important because it would be more likely to lead to concrete results. Like the deterrence perspective, this view of public support is instrumental: it suggests that people make performance-based evaluations of authority, working with the police only when they think the police are dealing effectively with community issues and problems. No doubt one key function of legal authorities is instrumental, namely the maintenance of social order. The limitation of the instrumental approach to public support, however, is that it fails to consider the full array of motivations that might shape people's reactions to social authorities. Of particular interest are people's identity-based judgments (Hogg and Abrams 1988) and their concerns about social justice (Tyler et al. 1997).




defining their identities. Hence the police act to defend these values with the expectation that they will receive community members' Beginning with Durkheim's pioneering support and cooperation. work on social solidarity, sociological theoIn this paper we use two more recent rists have argued that the agents of the crimibodies of social psychological theory to nal or penal law, such as the police and the explore two questions that derive from this courts, are evaluated by communities in thesis of moral solidarity. First, how do peoterms of the degree to which they represent ple's views on the degree to which legal the community's moral values and express authorities reflect community moral values— those values through their actions in apprethe degree of moral solidarity—shape their hending and punishing offenders (Vidmar own orientations toward the law and legal 2002). In other words, people view authorities as expressing the values of the group in authorities? We argue that the social identity addition to fulfilling their instrumental role approach, particularly self-categorization theory, suggests (in keeping with Durkheim's as maintainers of social order. earlier argument) that the police are seen as In Durkheim's view, the true function of reflecting a community's moral values and punishment was not simply the instrumental therefore are regarded as prototypical group goal of deterring others from committing authorities, who are defending group norms. crime but also the solidarity-based goal of As a result, the public identifies with those reaffirming the authority of society's moral authorities and with the group they represtructure (Durkheim 1947, 1986). Mead sent, and supports them by cooperating (1917-1918) echoed this claim: when some(Tyler and Blader 2000). one transgresses the shared moral values of Second, how do people use their knowlsociety, that person is challenging the authority and appropriateness of that moral struc- edge about the behavior of the police to ture. Violations of the community's deeply determine whether they feel that the police felt social and moral values raise questions in fact are prototypical authorities who about the group's identity, evoke intense reflect the group's moral values? The relaemotions, and call forth a passionate tional model of authority (Lind and Tyler response. 1988; Tyler and Lind 1992) suggests that peoPunishment is essential when rules are ple evaluate group authorities in terms of the broken because unpunished violations erode fairness of the manner in which they exercise the moral structure's authority to define the their authority: that is, via procedural justice. group and shape members' behavior. Studies of leaders consistently find that supViolations of group norms taint the group's port for leaders is linked to such judgments identity and raise questions in group mem- about procedural fairness. This finding sugbers' minds about the status of their group gests that people judge prototypicality by and the value of group membership. It is legal evaluating how authorities exercise their authorities who express the group's outrage power on behalf of the group (Tyler et al. and defend its moral values. They engage in 1997; Tyler and Smith 1997). appropriate punishment; insofar as they do The relational model further suggests so, it is predicted that they will receive sup- that people place the greatest weight on their port from the community. evaluations of the authorities' procedural The key to public support for the police, justice when they are most uncertain about the courts, and the law is the view among their own status. According to this relational members of the public that they share moral hypothesis, those people whose social status solidarity—a set of common moral values— is not high or low, but intermediate, and who with the police and the courts. Everyone in therefore are the most uncertain about what the group, both authorities and group mem- their status is, will focus most strongly on bers, has an interest in defending the shared whether the police use fair procedures in normative social values that define the group exercising their authority (Tyler and Lind and give group membership positive value in 1990). Identity Motivations and the Idea of Moral Solidarity

MORAL SOLIDARITY Why is this true? The relational model suggests that group members who are very high in status are secure, and do not need to focus on procedures to determine what their status is. Similarly, those who are marginal to the group know that their status is marginal; they, too, have no need to focus on procedures. It is the people in the middle—those who are not certain what their status is—who will respond most strongly to evidence about whether the police exercise authority fairly (Tyler and Lind 1992). As in other fairness models, the relational model argues that a focus on justice is motivated by uncertainty about one's situation (Van den Bos and Lind, 2002). In line with the arguments of the social identity approach, this second hypothesis suggests that not everyone is equally concerned about the identity implications of group membership. As stated above, those with high, secure status will feel less uncertain about their status, and therefore will be influenced less strongly by their evaluations of the fairness of the actions of the police. HYPOTHESES Why Do People Support the Police? Our first suggestion is that, in keeping with both Durkheim's early arguments and the later arguments of the social identity approach, people support leaders who they feel represent the group's values. That is, people's connections to groups and leaders contain an important ethical or moral dimension linked to values and identity rather than to material or instrumental concerns. When people in groups view leaders as reflecting group norms and values, they feel that their leaders have moral solidarity with the group. According to the social identity approach, those people then identify more strongly with the group. This influence is distinct from the support that authorities might gain by solving group problems or providing people with desired resources. The first body of theory on which we draw is self-categorization theory (Turner et al. 1987). The social identity approach proposes that people use their membership in groups to define themselves and assess their self-worth (see Hogg 2002; Turner 1999;


Turner and Onorato 1997). This theory suggests that a group's authorities are prototypical of the group and reflect its values (Hogg 2001; Hogg and Reid 2001; Hogg and van Knippenberg forthcoming). Therefore their actions exert an important influence on attitudes and behaviors toward the group. This is especially true when followers identify with the group (Hogg 2001)because those who identify with the group should be especially interested in the group's values. In line with social identity arguments, we hypothesize that people will be more willing to support legal authorities insofar as they view those authorities as reflecting the group's normative and ethical values, as demonstrated by the manner in which they exercise their authority. This idea reflects the general argument that people cooperate with groups and with group authorities when they identify with them (Hogg 2001; Hogg and van Knippenberg forthcoming), and that they identify with groups when they think those groups exhibit fairness in their procedures. To test the hypothesis that moral solidarity with legal authority has important consequences, we examine the effects of identification on three aspects of group members' behaviors: (1) their compliance with law, (2) their cooperation with legal authority, and (3) their willingness to support giving police greater discretion in performing their law enforcement duties. We compare the influence of such identification on behavior with that of two instrumental motives: risk and performance. What Communicates Prototypicality? If legal authorities gain cooperation by embodying the group's ethical and moral values, how do they show that they hold such values? The relational model of authority suggests that people view the fairness of the actions taken by the police in exercising their authority—their procedural justice—as central to the effect of encounters with the authorities on their own identities (Lind and Tyler 1988; Tyler and Lind 1992). People are proud to belong to, and to be respected by, groups whose authorities follow fair procedures. In other words, authorities communicate that they represent normative group



values by the manner in which they exercise their authority. Procedural justice is a groupserving behavior; therefore authorities who engage in this behavior are seen as core members who are acting in the group's best interests. Hence we hypothesize that people will be influenced most strongly by their evaluations of the procedural justice of the police. In addition, issues of distributive fairness may shape evaluations (Adams 1965; Deutsch 1985; Pritchard, Dunnette, and Jorgenson 1972; Walster and Walster 1975). We further predict that people will be influenced most strongly by procedural justice issues when they are most concerned about their social identity and their status in the community. This suggests that people of intermediate status in the community should place particularly strong weight on whether they think the police follow fair procedures. Such people are connected to the group, so their identity is intertwined with the group, but they are unsure of the degree to which they are members in good standing. In contrast, those whose status is high and secure should put more weight on issues of distributive justice. Further, those who are socially marginal will be less concerned about status because their low status is clear; they also will focus on distributive justice (Tyler and Lind 1990). Distributive justice theory rests on the instrumental assumption that people are motivated by the fairness of the outcomes they receive. These theories predict that people will be more willing to give power to legal authorities when they feel that those authorities deliver fair outcomes to them and to their group (lyier et al. 1997). The suggestion that distributive fairness is important in policing is reflected in the comments of Sarat (1977), who argues that the "perception of unequal treatment is the single most important source of popular dissatisfaction with the American legal system. According to available survey evidence, Americans believe that the ideal of equal protection, which epitomizes what they find most valuable in their legal system, is betrayed by police, lawyers, judges, and other legal officials" (p. 434). In this argument, evaluations of the police and police services in judgments about fairness

are grounded in distributions of resources (Tyler et al. 1997). METHOD New York City Sample To test the hypotheses outlined, we mailed a self-report survey to a random sample of registered voters in New York City. Twenty-two percent of respondents returned questionnaires, for a sample of 586. They received no incentives for returning questionnaires, but each form, was mailed with a $1 scratch lottery ticket as encouragement. Before sending the form, we wrote sample members a letter stating that they would receive a questionnaire, and explaining the study. Those who did not initially return the questionnaire received a follow-up letter requesting that they do so. Because of the low response rate, results from this study should not be assumed to generalize to the population of all registered voters in New York City, but these responses nonetheless are sufficient for a test of theoretically derived predictions. Respondents' ages ranged from 19 to 88, with a mean of 48. Gender was 62 percent female; 75.2 percent had at least some college education; and income averaged between $40,000 and $60,000 per year. The ethnic breakdown was 56.8 percent white and 43.5 percent nonwhite: 14.8 percent Hispanic or Latino, 22.4 percent African American, and 6.3 percent other. For this analysis, we collapsed ethnicity further into a dichotomous white/minority variable. MEASURES Motivations for Supporting the Police Moral solidarity. Moral solidarity with legal authority is defined as the belief that the values and tenets of law enforcement authorities are consistent with one's personal beliefs about right and wrong, as well as with the group's normative values. We measured moral solidarity using an index of seven questions measured on six-point Likert scales, ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." The questions were (1) "[My] own feelings about what is right and wrong gener-

MORAL SOLIDARITY ally agree with what the law says"; (2) "The law is usually consistent with the values of the people in [my] neighborhood about what is right and wrong"; (3) "The police in [my] neighborhood act in ways that are consistent with [my] own moral values about how people should be treated"; (4) "The values of most police officers are very similar to my own"; (5) "If I talked to most police officers, I would find we agreed about many issues"; (6) "I think that most police officers would respect my values"; and (7) "I think that most police officers would value what I contribute to my neighborhood" (alpha = .87, M = 3.91, sd = 1.06). Risk. Risk was defined as the perceived likelihood of being caught and punished for breaking the law. We created an index using three questions based on a six-point Likert scale. Respondents were presented with six common types of law-breaking behavior and asked how likely is it that they would be caught and punished if they broke these laws, how much the police would care, and how severely they would be punished. These items were combined into a scale of risk (alpha = .78,M = 3.5,sd = 1.3). Performance in fighting crime. Performance evaluations were measured with nine questions on a six-point Likert scale. Questions 1 through 5 asked how "effective the police have been at controlling violent crime, gang violence, drugs, gun violence, and burglary." The other items were (6) "How quickly do the police respond when they are called for help?" (7) "How quickly do the police respond when people in your neighborhood call the police for help?" (8) "Are the police effective at providing help?" and (9) "Do the police try to be of assistance?" We combined these items into a performance index (alpha = .91; M = 4.1, sd = .99). Consequences of Moral Solidarity Compliance. We assessed compliance by asking respondents to indicate on six-point Likert scales how often they followed rules about seven types of behavior: (1) "where to park your car legally"; (2) "how to legally dispose of trash and litter"; (3) "not making noise at night"; (4) "not speeding or breaking


traffic laws"; (5) "not buying possible stolen items on the street"; (6) "not taking inexpensive items from stores or restaurants without paying"; and (7) "not using drugs such as marijuana." Initially we combined the items into a compliance index (alpha = .88). Respondents indicated very high levels of compliance (M = 5.3, sd = .94), yielding a highly skewed distribution (skew = -2.2, se = .12). To remove this skewness, we collapsed the compliance index into a three-point scale by tricotomizing each of the original items into ratings of low, medium, and high compliance (1-3) (alpha = .85 for the new scale, M = 2.5, sd = .56). Cooperation. We assessed cooperation with 10 questions on a six-point scale similar to that of previous questions. Respondents were asked how likely they would be to (1) "call the police to report a crime occurring in [their] neighborhood"; (2) "call the police to report an accident"; (3) "help the police to find someone suspected of committing a crime"; (4) "call and give the police information to help the police solve a crime"; (5) "report dangerous or suspicious activities in [their] neighborhood to the police"; (6) "voluntarily work as a police-community liaison worker at night or during weekends"; (7) "spend some of [their] time helping new police officers by showing them around [their] neighborhood"; (8) "volunteer to attend a community meeting to discuss crime in [their] neighborhood"; (9) "work with others in [their] neighborhood on neighborhood watch activities designed to lower crime"; and (10) "be willing to serve on a neighborhood committee to discuss problems in [their] neighborhood with the police." We combined these items into a single index (alpha = .87, M = 4.38, sd = .93). Empowerment. We assessed empowerment with five questions on a six-point Likert scale. Subjects were asked the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with these statements: (1) "The police should have the right to stop and question people on the street"; (2) "The police should have the power to decide which areas of the city should receive the most police protection"; (3) "Because of their training and experience, the police are best able to decide how to deal with crime in your neighborhood"; (4) "The



police should have the power to do whatever they think is needed to fight crime"; and (5) "If we give enough power to the police, they will be able to effectively control crime." We combined these items into an overall index (alpha = .83, M = 3.26, sd = 1.23). Antecedents of Prototypicality Procedural fairness. We measured procedural fairness using two overall questions measured on a six-point Likert scale. Respondents were asked how often the police (1) "make decisions about how to handle problems in fair ways" and (2) "treat people fairly." We combined the items to create a summary index of procedural fairness (alpha = .91, M = 3.98, sd = 1.17). Distributive fairness. We measured distributive fairness with five items on the same six-point scale as we used for procedural justice: (1) "How often do people receive the outcomes they deserve under the law when they deal with the police?" (2) "Are the outcomes that people receive from the police better than they deserve, worse than they deserve, or about what they deserve under the law?" (3) "How often do the police give people in your neighborhood less help than they give others due to their race?" (4) "The police do not provide the same quality of service to people living in all areas of the city"; and (5) "Minority (i.e., non-white) residents of the city receive a lower quality of service from the NYPD than do whites." We combined these items into a scale of distributive fairness (alpha = .76, M = 3.4, sd = 1.04). Identification With the Community An individual's identification with his or her community refers to the degree to which people draw their identity and feelings of personal status from their community. We assessed identification using two interrelated components: feelings of pride in the group due to shared values with others and feeling respected by the group (Tyler and Blader 2001). In this study we measured community identification with six questions, rated on the same six-point scale as the other constructs. Subjects were asked to report their level of connection to their group with the following statements: (1) "The values of most of the

people in my neighborhood are very similar to my own"; (2) "If I talked to most of the people in my neighborhood, I would find we agreed about many issues"; (3) "I agree with many of the values that define what the people in my neighborhood stand for in their lives"; (4) "The people in my neighborhood encourage me to feel good about our city"; (5) "I think that people in my neighborhood would respect my values"; and (6) "I think that most people in my neighborhood would value what I contribute to the neighborhood" (alpha = .93; M = 4.2; sd = 1.2). RESULTS The Consequences of Moral Solidarity In the first part of this analysis we test the hypothesis of the social identity approach, particularly self-categorization theory, that moral solidarity with legal authority has important consequences for attitudes and behavior. We performed a regression analysis using the indices of moral solidarity, risk, performance evaluations, and demographic variables to predict compliance with law, cooperation with police, and the empowerment of law enforcement authorities. Demographic variables included in the analysis were ethnicity, education, age, sex, and income. The results, summarized in Table 1, indicate that compliance is affected both by moral solidarity with legal authorities and by estimates of risk (F = 6.8, p < .001, r^ = .07). We found no effect for performance evaluations. Compliance with the law also was influenced by income and gender: better-off, female respondents were more likely to comply. Moral solidarity and evaluations of police performance predicted peoples' cooperation with the police (F = 7.01, p < .001, r^ = .08). Estimates of risk had no impact on cooperation. Ethnicity also affected cooperation: minority respondents were more likely to cooperate with the police. Finally, empowerment was predicted by moral solidarity and evaluations of performance (F = 47.53, p < .001,r2 = .38). As hypothesized, moral solidarity independently influenced all three aspects of people's orientations toward the police: their compliance with the law, their cooperation.



Table 1. Influences on Compliance. Cooperation, and Empowerment. Compliance Moral solidarity Risk Performance Ethnicity

.13* .14** -.05 -.08



.16** -.01 .18** -.11* -.01 .02 .08 -.05 .08

.44*** .07 .18*** .12** Age .00 .03 Education .07 -.08* Income .17*** -.05 Gender .12*** .01 Adj. /?2 .07 .38 Note. All entries are standardized beta weights; they indicate the independent influence of each variable on compliance, cooperation, or empowerment. *p < .05; **p < .01; ***p < .001

and their willingness to empower the police. This finding supports the suggestion that people cooperate with the authorities whom they view as prototypical, whose actions reflect the group's normative values. Such influence is distinct from that of instrumental judgments about how well those authorities are doing their jobs. While moral solidarity influences all three aspects of people's orientations toward the poUce, the strength of the influence is not the same for each issue. The equations explain 7 percent of the variance in compliance, 8 percent in cooperation, and 38 percent in empowerment. The difference in our ability to predict these aspects of people's orientations reflects the distinction between attitudes and behaviors. Empowerment permits expression of people's views; as a result, people are able to express views consistent with their attitudes and values. In contrast, compliance and cooperation are behaviors. Behaviors are constrained by many factors in the environment in addition to what people are motivated to do. Hence we would expect that behaviors would be predicted less strongly by attitudes than are other attitudes. In fact, if we found that we predicted behaviors as well as attitudes, we might question the accuracy of people's behavioral selfreports. The pattern of findings outlined here is that which would be expected for an analysis of this type. In addition, these analyses use a general scale of moral solidarity that mixes judgments about the police and about the law. A task for future research, which is beyond the scope of this study, is to clarify the relationship between the police and the law as repre-

sentatives of the group's values. The police are human beings with whom respondents may have personal contact, whereas the law is abstract and general. It is important to explore the features that make something or someone more or less suitable to represent the group and its values. Justice and Identification With the Community In the second phase of this analysis we test for an interaction between perceptions of the procedural and the distributive justice of the police and an individual's identification with his or her community. In general, we anticipate that evaluations of the procedural justice of police actions will shape people's views about their moral solidarity with the police. In other words, group members will regard the police as holding their moral values when the police are fair in their approaches to exercising authority. We predict that not everyone will be concerned equally about procedural issues: we expect that those who identify greatly with the community will be influenced less strongly by procedural justice judgments than will those with lower levels of identification. Though the relationship between connection to the community and concerns about procedural justice theoretically should be curvilinearâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;weak at high and low levels of connection and strong in the middleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;we were unable to test the full range of this connection. Those who returned the questionnaires generally reported either high or moderate levels of connection.This finding is reasonable, given that people had to decide



whether to voluntarily complete and return questionnaires that asked them questions about their communities. Those low in identification with their community had little motivation to do so. Because of the levels of connection we found in the sample, we segmented our sample into high and moderate/low identifiers. To test our hypothesis, we performed a regression analysis that included interaction terms representing the relationship between (1) procedural justice and identity and (2) distributive justice and identity. We used these terms to predict judgments of degree of solidarity with the police. The results of the regression are summarized in Table 2. The linear regression model was significant {F= 100.78,/? < .001, adjusted r^ = .63). We found main effects for procedural justice, identification with the community, ethnicity, age, education and income. Those who viewed the police as exercising their authority with fair procedures and as providing fair outcomes, and those who were high in their identification with their community, all reported feeling greater moral solidarity with legal authorities. As we would expect on the basis of prior research, procedural justice shapes judgments of moral solidarity. Judgments of distributive justice also influence moral solidarity: people feel that the police share their moral values because the police distribute services fairly. They believe, however, that the police share their moral values primarily because the police exercise their authority through fair procedures. Yet identification with the community predicts moral solidari-

ty: those who feel that their identity is connected to their community believe that the police share the community's normative values. In addition, among those who report a moderate/low connection to their community, procedural justice should be an especially important predictor of feelings of moral solidarity with legal authorities. The opposite should be true for distributive justice: those who report a moderate/low connection should care less about this type of justice. We tested the interaction hypothesis using centered variables (Aiken and West 1991). In confirmation of the interaction hypothesis, we found significant interaction terms for both procedural justice (beta = -.24, p < .001) and distributive justice (beta = .13,p < .001). To explore the nature of the interaction, we divided the sample into two subgroups based on the strength of self-reported connection to community. We performed two separate regression equations. The results are summarized in Table 3. The results confirm the hypothesis that for those reporting moderate/low connection to their community, procedural justice was a stronger factor infiuencing moral solidarity with the police, while concerns about distributive justice were lowest in this group. We also confirmed the result using a simple slopes analysis, in which we plotted the regression lines at one standard deviation above the mean and one standard deviation below (Aiken and West 1991). These findings support our interaction predictions. One could argue that the greater concern for distributive justice found among those

Table 2. Interaction Between Justice and Moral Solidarity. .58' Procedural Justice .22" Distributive Justice .08' Connection to Community -.24* Procedural Justice x Connection .13' Distributive Justice x Connection -.03 Ethnicity .05 Age -.10** Education .03 Income .01 Gender .63 Adj. R^ Note. All entries are standardized beta weights; they indicate the independent influence of each variable on moral solidarity. **p < .01; ***p < .001



Table 3. Interaction Between Justice and Moral Solidarity: Subgroup Analysis. Strength of Community Connection High Moderate/Low Procedural Justice Distributive Justice Ethnicity Age Education Income Gender Adj. R^

.36*** .46***

.60*** .22*** -.05

.03 .04




.02 .00 .58

.04 .01


Note. All entries are standardized beta weights; they indicate the independent influence of each variable on moral solidarity. *p < .05; ***p < .001

reporting a high connection to their community has no relationship to concerns about status. An alternative explanation is that those who report lower levels of identification with their community have the most to lose instrumentally in unfair social exchanges, and therefore focus more strongly on process issues as a form of instrumentally motivated vigilance. This is also an lnteraction hypothesis, but one that predicts an interaction with issues of outcome depen(jence We tested this outcome dependence hypothesis with a regression equation including similar interaction terms between procedural and distributive justice, as well as an index combining income and ethnicity. We created this index by dichotomizing income (high/low) and ethnicity (white/nonwhite). Those of low income and minority status were scored as most at risk; whites of high

income as least at risk. If the dependence explanation has merit, then we should find a significant interaction between our index of income and ethnicity (an indicator of what one has to lose) and focus on justice. In particular, those who are more vulnerable and ^^^^ dependent on outcomes (poor/minority ^^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ j ^ ^^ J ,, u ,• • , • , . '^^'^' P°'''^,' '""'''"'^ '^^'' ^"^'^""'^ ^^''^y^ ^ ^ '^'"^^^ °^ ^^^ regression analysis are summarized in Table 4. We found no signifi'^^^'°" interaction between either distributive Justice or procedural justice and the income/ethnicity index. This finding supports °"'" contention that a concern about informat'O" O" status rather than a focus on instruniental issues underlies the influence of strength of community connection on the relationship between justice judgments about police behavior and assessments of the

Table 4. Interaction Between Justice and Income/Ethnicitv. Moral Solidarity Procedural Justice Distributive Justice Connection to Community Procedural Justice x Income/Ethnicity Distributive Justice x Income/Ethnicity Ethnicity Age

Education Income Gender Adj. /?2

.45*** .33*** .17*** .06

-.04 -.03 .05

-.09 .03 .01 .63

Note. All entries are standardized beta weights; they indicate the independent influence of each variable on moral solidarity. ***p < .001



more highly when they think the police share their moral values. This point supports the suggestion based on social identity, that people's link to group authorities has an important social value component whereby authorities represent the group's moral values. When people think that group authorities represent their values, they identify and cooperate with them (Tyler and Blader 2000). This value-based link is distinct from people's instrumental connection to authorities. People also comply with the law if they think they are likely to be caught and punished for failing to do so. In addition, they cooperate with the police if they think the police are effective in dealing with crime. Thus two connections lead to support for the DISCUSSION police. Here, however, we focus on the conAccording to the social identity nection based on moral solidarity, and the approach, people respond to group authori- results support the argument that a clear-cut ties when they view those authorities as pro- solidarity connection also exists. totypical representatives of their group Further, our findings suggest that peo(Hogg 2001). In this case, we suggest that ple's degree of identification with their compeople in a community cooperate with the munity shapes their sense of moral solidarity. police when they feel that the police are act- Those who identify with their community ing in solidarity with the community and are feel greater solidarity with the police, believsupporting and defending community norms ing that the police share their values and the in their social regulatory actions. The findings values of those in their group. The police are of this study support that argument. People prototypical authorities; as we would expect, comply more fully with the police, cooperate we find that people who identify with the with them more strongly, and empower them community view community authorities as

degree to which the police reflect the community's moral values (solidarity). The logic outlined above suggests a causal model in which procedural fairness causes moral solidarity, and moral solidarity causes cooperation and compliance. To test this argument we constructed and tested a causal model using the Amos modeling program (Arbuckle 1997). The results of our analysis, shown in Figure 1, support the mediational hypothesis: when moral solidarity is treated as a mediating variable, there is no direct path from a term reflecting the interaction between procedural justice and social connection, on the one hand, to people's orientation toward policing, on the other.

Interaction of procedural justice with connection to the group



Moral solidarity


Figure 1. Does moral solidarity mediate the relationship between procedural justice and orientation toward policing? Note: Coefficients for all paths greater than p < .05 are shown. Entries are the standardized coefficients.

MORAL SOLIDARITY representing their values. In other words, moral solidarity and identification are intertwined. Others have sought the causal direction of this relationship (see Hogg 2001); although our study does not address that issue, it demonstrates that the two judgments are connected. In addition, people who think the police exercise their authority with fair procedures also feel greater moral solidarity with the police. Thus one manner in which the police can show that they reflect community values is to manifest procedural justice in their actions. This finding is consistent with other studies suggesting that acting fairly also enhances police legitimacy (Sunshine and lyier forthcoming). Those community members who think the police are procedurally just feel that the police are legitimate and ought to be obeyed; by the same token, we show here that they feel that the police share the community's moral values and therefore should receive cooperation. The police might follow two routes to gain compliance and cooperation from the public. One route is to gain legitimacy, so that people feel they ought to comply and cooperate with the police. The other route is to be viewed as a prototypical representative of the group's moral valuesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;that is, to manifest moral solidarity. These findings suggest that when the police follow fair procedures, they enhance both of these aspects of their authority. According to the relational model of authority, people use information on procedural justice to indicate both the status of their group and their own status in that group (Tyler and Blader 2000;Tyler and Lind 1990). Our findings support this argument by showing that those people who think the police exercise their authority fairly also indicate that they identify with their community, and that the police reflect that community's normative values. By acting fairly, the police build their moral authority as representatives of the group. This study also tests the further argument based on procedural justice theory, that social identity judgments interact with the weight people place on procedural justice. In this study we test the suggestion that not everyone is equally concerned about proce-


dural justice. Those of intermediate status are most interested in possessing such information relevant to status. Thus we hypothesize that they will be influenced most strongly by judgments about procedural justice. Those whose identification with the community is intermediate are found, as predicted, to place the greatest weight on the procedural justice of police actions when determining their beliefs about their moral solidarity with the police. To a greater extent than others, they decide that the police share the community's moral values when they think the police use fair procedures in exercising their authority. Those who are identified most strongly with the community are more certain of their status and place greater weight on issues of distributive justice, which is more instrumental (see Tyler 1988,1994). Although the findings reported here are consistent with our argument, we were not able to separate people into high, medium, and low identification groups. Instead we created high and medium/low groups. As a result, we cannot show the full curvilinear effect that we predict should occur (Tyler and Lind 1990). In future studies we must demonstrate that the low group actually has less concern about procedural justice issues than does the medium or intermediate group. To do so, we must either identify a population whose identification spans the full range from high to low or manipulate the level of identification in a laboratory. Overall these findings suggest the value of viewing the police as authorities whose authority derives, at least in part, from their role as representatives of their group's moral values. This core idea within sociology is reflected in two more recent social psychological theories, the social identity approach (Hogg and Abrams 1988) and the relational model of authority (Tyler and Lind 1992). According to the social identity approach, leadership is linked to being prototypical of a group's moral and ethical values (Hogg 2001)â&#x20AC;&#x201D;that is, to reflecting moral solidarity. Similarly, the relational model of authority proposes that leaders' authority derives from their ethical character, which people evaluate by judging the fairness of their actions. Both models suggest that people's connection to their group is rooted in issues of morality and



identity, as well as being linked to the exchange of resources. Although the findings of this study support the argument that identity is central to the exercise of authority, we must point out a potential conflict between these findings and the arguments of self-categorization theory. Our findings suggest that people focus most sharply on issues of procedural justice when they are uncertain about their status. Hence those most closely connected to the group are less concerned about issues of procedural justice. Self-categorization theory argues that those who identify more closely with the group will be most concerned about identity issues, and thus might be expected to be concerned most strongly about procedural justice. We do not think that these ideas necessarily conflict. Our findings show a main effect of strength of connection to the community on moral identification: people who feel connected more strongly to the community are more likely to feel that the police reflect the group's moral values. In addition, however, we find an interaction between strength of connection and the weight placed on procedural justice: this interaction suggests that those who are connected more strongly to the group place less weight on whether they receive procedural justice. In other words, we present evidence that supports the processes suggested by both models. Future research must contrast these models more directly. In general, the findings outlined here suggest that two approaches, the social identity approach and the procedural justice approach, can profitably be studied together. In particular, the identity-based view of procedural justice effects fits well with the social identity approach (Tyler and Blader 2000). Our findings support this intersection by demonstrating that the strength of concerns with procedural justice varies depending on one's identification with the group. Although these findings are directed at views about the police, they also suggest that the basis on which people judge authorities and institutions should be linked more broadly to identification. This point could be tested profitably in future research.

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9989869 pdf moral solidarity, identification with the community