- Exploring psychological mechanisms of collective action: Does relevance of group identity influence how people cope with collective disadvantage?
- British Journal of Social Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 47 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Two studies examined how the relevance of group identity influences two psychological mechanisms of collective action: Emotion- and problem-focused coping with collective disadvantage. Extending Van Zomeren, Spears, Fischer, and Leach's (2004) integrative theoretical model of coping with collective disadvantage, we predicted that when group identity is more relevant to disadvantaged group members, it increases their collective action tendencies through their feelings of group-based anger about their group's disadvantage. When group identity is less relevant and hence emotion-focused coping processes are less likely, group-efficacy beliefs become more predictive of disadvantaged group members' collective action tendencies because people focus more instrumentally on whether collective action will be effective (and benefit them) or not. A field study and a follow-up experiment both showed that the relevance of group identity facilitated emotion-focused coping and moderated problem-focused coping with collective disadvantage. We discuss these results in terms of two distinct psychological mechanisms of collective action.
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