טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentMangobi Keren
SubjectQueues: Fairness, Emotions and a Bit of Math
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Professor Anat Rafaeli
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

This research examined different aspects of unfairness in order to draw a multidisciplinary view of fairness in queues. We use a real-time waiting system in order to examine and confront 3 disciplines (economics, psychology and mathematics) in judgments of the fairness of a waiting situation. In Study 1, we found that queues with FIFO violations are perceived as more unfair than queues with no FIFO violations, as expected. These results concur with previous findings and with the predictions of all three disciplines. In Study 2 we found some resemblance between the predictions of a mathematical model and a psychological analysis in judgments of unfairness; yet the psychological view predicts and finds an asymmetry, so that perceptions of job size discrimination depend on whether the discrimination favors or disfavors the person making the judgment. While the mathematical model disregards the occurrence bias in calculating the extent of discrimination, it does point out the direction of the discrimination. Study 2 also found that people have limited sensitivity to discrimination toward others and confirms a relationship between fairness and emotion. In Study 3 we confront the different predictions of the three disciplines, by changing the length of the queue behind the participant as an expression of crowdedness in the queue. Unlike the predictions of the mathematical model or the psychological view, no significant difference was found between the crowded and uncrowded queues in fairness perceptions. Looking solely at these results, the economic view is supported. However, in the crowded queue people reported fewer negative emotions than in the less crowded queue, which supports a psychological phenomenon that we label "Misery Loves Company" and implies that occurrences in the waiting area are relevant to customers' attitudes. The results of the three studies illustrate the importance of an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to the study of fairness and to the determination of a policy of queue management.