Peter Kardos, Bernhard Leidner, Laszlo Zsolnai, & Emanuele Castano ‘The Effect of the Belief in Free Market Ideology on Redressing Corporate Injustice.’ European Journal of Social Psychology, 2016
Many people in the major Western economies (e.g., United States, UK, and Germany) subscribe to free market ideology (FMI),which claims that institutional oversight of the market is unnecessary for public reaction can force corporations to regulate their own behavior. The question then becomes how people’s belief in FMI affects their reactions to corporate transgressions. Given its ingroup-centered values, we hypothesized that FMI beliefs would bias reactions to corporate transgressions. We report results of a pilot study showing that FMI beliefs are predicted by selfishness, tradition, conformity, and lack of universalism. We then report three experiments, which showed that stronger FMI beliefs predict weaker demands to redress corporate injustices committed by ingroup (but not outgroup) corporations (Studies 1–3), especially when victims of corporate wrongdoings belong to an outgroup (rather than the ingroup; Study 3). The findings inform our conceptual understanding of FMI and give insights about its implications for market justice.