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Abstract

Most studies of reference point effects have used a single referent, such as a price, a salary, or a target. There is considerable evidence that the judged fairness of, or satisfaction with, an outcome is significantly influenced by discrepancies from such single referents. In many settings, however, more than one reference point may be available, so the subject may be confronted simultaneously with some referents above, some at, and some below the focal outcome. Little is known about the simultaneous impact of such multiple reference points. We examine here the effects of two referents on ratings of salary satisfaction and fairness. Subjects were presented with a series of scenarios that described a salary offer made to a hypothetical MBA graduate and provided information about the salary offers made to either one or two other similar graduates. For each scenario, subjects judged how fair the focal graduate would feel the offer to be, and how satisfied he or she would be with it. Satisfaction ratings displayed asymmetric effects of comparisons: the pain associated with receiving a salary lower than another MBA is greater than the pleasure associated with a salary higher than the other student by the same amount. Fairness ratings showed a different pattern of asymmetric effects of discrepancies from the reference salaries: the focal graduate's salary was judged somewhat less fair when others received lower offers, and much less fair when others received higher offers. The asymmetric effects occurred for both reference points, suggesting that the focal salary was compared separately to each of the referents rather than to a single reference point formed by prior integration of the referents. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Multiple reference points in satisfaction and fairness assessment
Ordonez, Lisa D;Connolly, Terry;Coughlan, Richard
Journal of Behavioral Decision Making; Jul/Sep 2000; 13, 3; ABI/INFORM Complete
pg. 329
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
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