The induction of shared identity: The positive role of individual distinctiveness for groups

Lise Jans*, Tom Postmes, Karen I. Van der Zee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article examines inductive processes of social identity formation, the bottom-up processes by which individual group members influence a social identity, integrating it with work on entitativity. Three studies tested the prediction that feelings of individual distinctiveness mediate the relation between inductive social identity formation and entitativity and that entitativity in turn predicts identification. The studies provided consistent support for this theoretical model over alternative models, using a range of different social groups and methods. Study 1 found support for the model in self-selected small groups. Study 2 supported it with a much broader set of groups that were not self-selected. Finally, Study 3 varied levels of inductive social identity formation systematically by varying group size and provided direct support for the hypothesized causal relations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1130-1141
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume37
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • entitativity
  • identification
  • individual distinctiveness
  • social identity formation

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