- How intragroup dynamics affect behavior in intergroup conflict: the role of group norms, prototypicality, and need to belong
- Group Processes & Intergroup Relations
- Volume | Issue number
- 13 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
This study explores the role of intragroup dynamics in intergroup conflict. In a computer-mediated negotiation experiment (N = 107), we investigated how a group representative’s standing in the group, group norm, and the representative’s need to belong influence behavior in intergroup negotiations. We hypothesized that the extent to which peripheral representatives adhere to group norms is contingent on their need to belong, whereas prototypical representatives behave in norm-congruent ways regardless of their need to belong. In support of this idea, results showed that prototypicals behaved more cooperatively when the group norm prescribed cooperation rather than competition. By contrast, peripherals only adhered to the group norm when they had a high need to belong. These findings suggest that peripherals only represent the interests of their group when doing so furthers their self-interest. We discuss implications for theorizing about prototypicality, social exclusion, and conformity to group norms.
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