We investigate the ways in which concern for fairness influences decision-making. We use a paradigm previously shown to illustrate circumstances under which a decision maker sacrifices some of his or her own potential for financial gain to punish or reward someone who has demonstrated a prior intent to be either unfair or fair to another person. By ruling out alternative hypotheses related to the original finding, we obtain evidence that "virtue is its own reward": Decision makers make self-sacrificing allocations, despite the absence of short- or long-term benefits for doing so. Extending the generality of this effect, we also identify circumstances under which the desire for virtuous fairness produces decisions that are not self-sacrificial and do reward someone whose motives seemingly include a willingness to exploit others. These special circumstances apparently indicate the decision maker's belief that "two wrongs don't make a right." Thus, these studies show that the fairness motive and moral concerns can influence decisions that have economic impact. We extend the range of effects in other studies to include condemnation of interactional injustice and we discuss implications of the overall set of studies in terms of three new foci for attention: A focus on the perpetrator, a focus on the victim, and a focus on the offensiveness of the act itself.


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