Scholarly article on topic 'Fair and Square: How does Perceptions of Fairness is Associated to Aggression?'

Fair and Square: How does Perceptions of Fairness is Associated to Aggression? Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

CC BY-NC-ND
0
0
Share paper
OECD Field of science
Keywords
{"Verbal Aggression" / "Physical Aggression" / Fairness / Students.}

Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Orhan Uludag

Abstract This study has utilized undergraduate university students as a sample to examine the relationships among fairness perceptions and two components of aggression. Students (n=1481) from a university in Northern Cyprus have participated in the current study. This study hypothesized to test the influence of uni-dimensional scale of fairness on verbal aggression and physical aggression. Demographic variables such as early/late response bias, age, gender, educational status, and class-size were treated as control variables in the correlation. The results revealed that fairness was significantly correlated with physical aggression. However, the study did not find any significant correlation coefficient between fairness and verbal aggresion. The control variables had no confounding relationship with the study variables. Avenues for future work, limitations and discussion is provided.

Academic research paper on topic "Fair and Square: How does Perceptions of Fairness is Associated to Aggression?"

CrossMark

Available online at www.sciencedirect.com

ScienceDirect

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 143 (2014) 504 - 508

CY-ICER 2014

Fair and Square: How does Perceptions of Fairness is Associated to

Aggression?

Orhan Uludag a *

aUniversity of Mediterranean Karpasia, Nicosia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Abstract

This study has utilized undergraduate university students as a sample to examine the relationships among fairness perceptions and two components of aggression. Students (n=1481) from a university in Northern Cyprus have participated in the current study. This study hypothesized to test the influence of uni-dimensional scale of fairness on verbal aggression and physical aggression. Demographic variables such as early/late response bias, age, gender, educational status, and class-size were treated as control variables in the correlation. The results revealed that fairness was significantly correlated with physical aggression. However, the study did not find any significant correlation coefficient between fairness and verbal aggresion. The control variables had no confounding relationship with the study variables. Avenues for future work, limitations and discussion is provided.

© 2014 ElsevierLtd. Thisisanopen access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of CY-ICER 2014.

Keywords: Verbal Aggression, Physical Aggression, Fairness, Students.

1. Introduction

It is a critical factor for educators to provide sound and fair environment to study. Due to this crucial factor, fairness is known to raise academic success in the educational setting (Uludag & Yaratan, 2013). Fairness is also recognized for its' ability to decrease level of aggression in students (Uludag & Yaratan, 2012). Perception of justice/fairness is recognized for its' three separate sub-constructs. The concept of fairness and justice is interchangeably used throughout the literature. These are namely distributive justice, procedural justice, and interactional justice. Chory (2007) stated that three sub constructs of justice perceptions, which are to be procedural, distributive, and interactional, are linked with each other but they are considered to be distinct (Cohen-Charash &

* Corresponding name: Orhan Uludag. Tel.: +90-392-227-3368 E-mail address: ouludag@akun.edu.tr

1877-0428 © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of CY-ICER 2014. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.07.424

Spector, 2001; Colquitt, 2001). Colquitt, Conlon, Wesson, Porter, and Ng (2001) consistently found that these separate constructs lead to different results. Others have utilized it as a uni-dimensional scale that measures fairness as a single representative construct (Yang, 2004). Classroom justice as a whole refers to the "perceptions of fairness and the evaluations regarding outcomes or processes that take place in an instructional context" (Chory-Assad & Paulsel, 2004b, p. 254). Moreover, the dimensions of student aggression unequivocally are; verbal aggression, anger with resentment, physical aggression, and suspicion. Physical and Verbal aggression is recognized as "hurting or harming others verbally or physically, represents the motor or instrumental component of the behavior" (Buss & Perry, 1992, p. 457).

The contributions of the current study are; first, investigation of the justice/equity theory in the educational context needs further attention (Chory, 2007; Chory-Assad, 2002). Second, the assessment of aggression within the instructional settings is vital and it is still in infant stage that needs additional examinations (Uludag, 2013, Yaratan & Uludag, 2012). Hence, the current study investigates the effect of fairness (uni-dimensional construct) on the components of aggression (verbal aggression and physical aggression) to fill the aforementioned voids in the extant literature.

2. Hypotheses

It is ostensive in the existing literature that perceptions of justice are linked to verbal aggression. For example, Chory-Assad (2002) has confirmed significant relations of distributive and procedural justice on verbal aggression. As well, Chory-Assad and Paulsel (2004a) has portrayed a significant relationship among interactional justice and indirect aggressive behavior. Also, Chory-Assad and Paulsel (2004b) has exhibited associations of 'covert forms of aggression' on distributive and procedural justice. Unambiguously, Folger and Konovsky (1989) specified that distributive justice is an originator of reactions (anti-social behaviours) when students assess perceptions of justice. Moreover, Yang (2004) has proposed a model that inspected the associations among fairness and burnout that resulted in no significant relationships among the studied constructs. As aggression may take numerous different forms (e.g. physical or verbal, relational, etc.), current literature determined that aggression exerts an effect on and/or can be triggered by many other theories such as perceived justice (Horan & Myers, 2009). Parallel to the empirical grounds depicted above, present study suggests the following hypotheses:

H1: Perceived fairness is negatively related to verbal aggression. H2: Perceived fairness is negatively related to physical aggression.

3. Method

3.1. Sample

Undergraduate students (n=1481) at a university were selected as the sample for the current study in Northern Cyprus. Convenience sampling method was exploited. Convenience sampling is defined as selecting the items from the population based on accessibility and ease of selection (Groebner, Shannon, Fry, & Smith, 2005). Mahalonobis distance assessment was conducted to observe the variations in the data set. The cut-off value for the distance test was ±2.5. The results disclosed no outliers.

3.2. Data Collection

The questionnaires were distributed and collected in a self-administered method. The questionnaire was filled out voluntarily and the researcher has assured the anonymity of the respondents. A total of 1750 students were reached by the cut-off date. Moreover, 200 respondents have refused to participate to this study while also 69 questionnaires had missing data; consequently, these were uninvolved in the further analyses. After all the necessary data screening to the data set a total of 1481 questionnaires were remained. This resulted in a response rate of 84.6%.

3.3. Questionnaire and Measures

In order to translate the instrument into Turkish back translation method was conveyed. Similar approach has been used in prior empirical studies (Uludag, 2013; Uludag & Yaratan, 2013; Yaratan & Uludag, 2012, Uludag & Yaratan, 2010). The cross-linguistic comparability was checked with professionals in their field. Fifty students have partook in the pilot study to control the understandability of the survey questions. Students were contented with the study questions and did not report any modifications. Henceforth, no modifications were made to the study questions. The response from the experts and student has proved the face validity to the study items.

Earlier empirical readings have shed a light in the use of the measures for the current study. Survey Items for fairness was uni-dimensionalized totaling 39 items from Chory-Assad & Paulsel, (2004b) and Chory (2007). Survey instrument of fairness/justice were elicited by a Likert scale as follows: (1=Extremely unfair; 2= Unfair; 3=Neutral; 4=Fair; 5=Extremely fair).

Survey Items for Aggression: The modified Aggression Questionnaire (AQ) was used from the study of GarciaLeon et al. (2002). Eight items for verbal aggression were used. Physical aggression was elicited with six items. All items of aggression are exemplified in the Likert scale as follows: (1=Strongly disagree; 2= Disagree; 3=Neither agree nor disagree; 4=Agree; 5=Strongly agree).

4. Results

The current study encompassed early-late responses to investigate the variance effects on the study variables. Forty Five percent of the respondents (666) were coded as early and 55 % (815) was coded as late responses. Out of 1481 usable questionnaires, majority of the students (48.6%) ranged between the ages of 22-26. About 47.4% were in the age category of 17-21. Furthermore, 58 students (3.9%) ranged between the ages of 27-31 and merely 1 student (0.1%) was in the age category of 32 and above. About 49.8% of the students were female and the rest of the respondents (50.2%) were male. Class-size was covered to measure if students were in an ideal classroom or overcrowded classroom situation. Mainstream of the students (969, 65.4%) stated that the class-size was ideal. However, 512 of the students (34.6%) described that the class-size was overcrowded.

In order to test the relationships among the study variables, Pearson Product Moment Correlation analysis was conducted

(r = Z (xy) / sqrt [ ( Z x2 ) * ( Z y2 ) ]). Scores obtained from the items were averaged to yield a composite score to represent the study constructs. The range among correlation coefficients were between age - verbal aggression (.05*) and verbal aggression - physical aggression (.47**). Some of the demographic variables had significant relationships with study variables. For instance, early/late responses were coded as a dichotomous variable (0=Early, 1=Late) to test the variations among early and late responses to the survey. The correlation matrix depicts no significant correlations among early/late responses and study variables. Moreover, age was significantly related to verbal aggression. This may indicate that older students have higher verbal aggression.

Table 1. Means, Standard Deviations and Correlations among Study Variables (n= 1481)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

1. Early/Late 1

2. Age .02 1

3. Gender .08** 23** 1

4. Educational Status - 09** .06* -.03 1

5. Class size -.10** .10** .03 .09** 1

6. FAIR .03 .02 -.05 .01 -.09** 1

7. VAGG -.03 .05* .12** .04 .08** .01 1

8. PHYAGG -.04 .05 .20** .00 .08** -.08** .47** 1

Mean .55 1.56 .50 .96 .35 3.20 2.98 2.77

SD .50 .57 .50 .18 .48 .68 .73 .96

a .77 .70 .80

Remarks: Scores obtained from related items were averaged to yield a composite score to represent the study constructs. FAIR= Perception of Fairness; VAGG= Verbal Aggression; PHYAGG= Physical Aggression; SD= Standard Deviation; a= Cronbach Alpha. The correlation coefficients among study constructs did not surpass 0.90, henceforth providing the substantiation of discriminant validity. * p < .05. ; **p <.01.

Gender was also coded as a dummy variable (0=Female, 1=Male) which was positively correlated with verbal aggression and physical aggression. This result may extrapolate that male respondents have higher tendencies of verbal aggression and physical aggression. Furthermore, educational status was too coded as dummy variable (0=Two year program, 1=Four year program) which then was included in the correlation matrix to see variations among two and four year programs. The results yielded no significant associations with study variables. Class-size was coded as a binary variable (0=Ideal Classroom, 1=Over-crowded classroom) and it negatively influenced fairness perceptions and positively influenced verbal aggression and physical aggression. This could be speculated that the students who are in ideal classroom setting have higher levels of fairness perception. In addition, students who are in overcrowded classrooms may have higher tendencies of verbal aggression and physical aggression.

Perceptions of fairness was not associated with verbal aggression. However it was linked to physical aggression. This may indicate that students who possess the perceptions of fairness tend to have lower levels physical aggression.

5. Discussion

The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship of fairness on students' verbal aggression and physical aggression. The hypotheses were tested through bivariate correlation analyses. Control variables were also embedded in to the correlation equation in order to test the potential confounding effects. The results did not yield any confounding effects.

The results of the study yielded significant correlation of fairness on physical aggression. Hence, the current study confirmed the results of prior empirical works (Chory-Assad, 2002; Chory-Assad & Paulsel, 2004a; Chory-Assad & Paulsel, 2004b). The study however did not find any significant relationship between fairness perceptions and verbal aggression. This finding was unanticipated since it was hypothesized that fairness would have a negative association with verbal aggression. Parallel to this, Equity theory also rejects this finding. Equity theory suggests that when individuals observe negative perceptions of justice, it is likely to lead individuals towards negative outcomes. Therefore, it could be pondered that the conclusions related to the relationship between justice/fairness and verbal aggression in the education literature still short and varying. Henceforward, forthcoming empirical works should examine this association.

5.1. Implications

As with any study, this empirical study should be noted with a limitation. The current study could be affected by common method bias due to the nature of cross-sectional data. Future studies should try to attain data from time-lagged or longitudinal data collection methods to minimize the effects of common method bias. This study made use of convenience sampling procedure. Future research should acquire data engendered from random sampling procedures.

5.2. Limitations and directions for future research

The contrast of aforementioned outcomes (specifically, fairness and verbal aggression) could be claimed as the inherent verbal aggressiveness of students and/or 'trait aggressive students' (Chory-Assad & Paulsel, 2004b) within the higher educational context. Students may not see the verbal aggression as an anti-social and disrupting behavior. Students may merely reflect this situation as being an opposition and/or challenging instructor power within the classroom. A possible remedy for the above conflict could be inferred as: teachers should play their instructional role as a facilitator rather than a power or autocratic figure. Inevitably, instructors may need to go through a training to embed the role as a facilitator in the daily teaching activities.

References

Buss, A. H., & Perry, M. (1992). The aggression questionnaire. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 452-459.

Chory, R. M. (2007). Enhancing student perceptions of fairness: The relationship between instructor credibility and classroom justice.

Communication Education, 56(1), 89-105. Chory-Assad, R. M., & Paulsel, M. L. (2004a). Antisocial classroom communication: Instructor influence and interactional justice as predictors

of student aggression. Communication Quarterly, 52, 98-114. Chory-Assad, R. M., & Paulsel, M. L. (2004b). Classroom justice: Student aggression and resistance as reactions to perceived unfairness.

Communication Education, 53, 253-273. Chory-Assad, R. M. (2002). Classroom justice: Perceptions of fairness as a predictor of student motivation, learning, and Aggression.

Communication Quarterly, 50, 58-77. Cohen-Charash, Y. & Spector, P. E. (2001). The role of justice in organizations: A meta-analysis. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 86(2), 278-321.

Colquitt, J. A. (2001). On the dimensionality of organizational justice: A construct validation of a measure. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 386-400.

Colquitt, J. A., Conlon, D. E., Wesson, M. J., Porter, C. O. L. H., & Ng, K. Y. (2001). Justice at the millennium: A meta-analytic review of 25

years of organizational justice research. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 425-445. Folger, R., & Konovsky, M. A. (1989). Effects of procedural and distributive justice on reactions to pay raise decisions. Academy of Management Journal, 32, 115-130.

Garcia-Leon, A., Reyes, G. A., Vila, J., Perez, N., Robles, H., & Ramos, M. M. (2002). The aggression questionnaire: A validation study in

student samples. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 5, 45-53. Groebner, D. F., Shannon, P. W., Fry, P. C. & Smith, K. D. (2005). Business statistics: A decision-making approach. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

Horan, S. M., & Myers S. A. (2009). An exploration of college instructors' use of classroom justice, power, and behavior alteration techniques.

Communication Education, 58(4), 483-496. Uludag, O., & Yaratan, H. (2013). The effects of justice and burnout on achievement: An empirical investigation of university students. Croatian Journal of Education. 15(2), 97-116.

Uludag, O. (2013). The influence of aggression on students' achievement: Evidence from higher education. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 89, 954-958.

Uludag, O., & Yaratan, H. (2012). The Effects of Justice, Aggression, and Burnout on Achievement: An Investigation of University Students. Lap-

Lambert Academic Publishing, Saarbrücken: Germany. Uludag, O., & Yaratan, H. (2010). The effect of burnout on engagement: An empirical study on tourism students. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure,

Sport and Tourism Education, 9(1), 13-23. Yang, H. J. (2004). Factors affecting student burnout and academic achievement in multiple enrollment programs in Taiwan's technical-

vocational colleges. International Journal of Educational Development, 24, 283-301. Yaratan, H., & Uludag, O. (2012). The impact of verbal aggression on burnout: An empirical study on university students. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46, 41-46.