One for all: What representing a group may do to us

C.P. Reinders Folmer, A. Klapwijk, D. de Cremer, P.A.M. van Lange

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Collective bargaining, business alliances, diplomacy between nations - interactions between group representatives include topics that may have some of the greatest impact on our lives. Nevertheless, the nature of such interactions is poorly understood. How do representatives approach such interactions? What goals do they pursue, and what expectations do they have of their counterpart? In the present research, we advance a theoretical framework with which to understand the mindset that is activated by the role of representative. In two studies, we measure what goals (Study 1) and expectations (Study 2) become salient in this role, compared with the related roles of individual or group member. Our findings reveal that representatives may display a more competitive mindset, consisting of more competitive goals and expectations of others. As competition can be harmful, rather than beneficial to the group, care should be taken when relying on representatives, so that we may exploit their strengths while curtailing their weaknesses. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1047-1056
    JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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