In the context of performance evaluations, temporal comparisons inform people how well they are doing relative to how they have performed in the past. Social comparisons inform people how well they are doing relative to others. The present research examined the effects of temporal and social comparisons on the fairness perceptions of those who receive the evaluations. In four studies using different methodologies, temporal evaluations were perceived as adhering more to principles of procedural and interpersonal fairness than social evaluations. The effects of temporal versus social evaluations on fairness perceptions were mediated by perceptions of receiving individualized treatment.
Chun, J.S., Joel Brockner, and D. De Cremer. "How temporal and social comparisons in performance evaluation affect fairness perceptions." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 145 (March 2018): 1-15.
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