Date of Award

Fall 2012

Project Type


Program or Major

Justice Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Ellen S Cohn


The alternative model of legal socialization proposes that legal legitimacy and legal cynicism mediate the relation between procedural justice and rule-violating behavior (Triter, 2012). In contrast, the direct model of procedural justice proposes that procedural justice predicts satisfaction with government (Tyler, 1988). The current study tested these models using secondary analysis of data collected in Eastern and Western Europe during the 1990s. The present study tested two competing hypotheses: legitimacy and cynicism would mediate the relation between procedural justice and satisfaction with government officials (alternative model) and procedural justice would predict satisfaction (direct model). Results indicated that procedural justice predicted satisfaction in Western Europe, which supported the direct model. Support was found for the alternative model in Eastern Europe. However, legal cynicism positively predicted satisfaction in Eastern Europe, contrary to previous research. This finding demonstrates the need to consider cultural context in studies of procedural justice.