Unique Individual or Interchangeable Group Member? The Accentuation of Intragroup Differences Versus Similarities as an Indicator of the Individual Self Versus the Collective Self

Bernd Simon, Giuseppe Pantaleo, Amélie Mummendey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In 4 studies, the authors examined antecedents of self-definition as either a unique individual (the individual self) or an interchangeable group member (the collective self). Accentuation of perceived similarities versus differences among in-group members including the self served as the main indicator of participants' relative emphasis on their individual or collective self. Following prior work in the social identity and self-categorization theory tradition, the authors predicted and found systematic variations in the relative emphasis on the individual or collective self. Relative emphasis varied with the valence of temporarily salient in-group features, with the more stable or chronic attractiveness of one's in-group, and with awareness of special treatment of the in-group by the outside world. Finally, issues are discussed concerning the cognitive construal of in-groups as well as the role of the individual self and the collective self for strategies of social mobility and social change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-119
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume69
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1995

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Social Mobility
Social Identification
Social Change
group membership
Group
social attraction
social change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

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