- Defining dimensions of distinctiveness: Group variability makes a difference to differentiation
- Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 74 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
We tested the prediction, derived from an integration of social identity and self-categorization principles, that the relation between in-group distinctiveness and positive differentiation is curvilinear. Moderate distinctiveness is argued to provide the critical combination of intergroup difference (self-categorization theory) and intergroup similarity ( social identity theory ) to elicit intergroup differentiation. Intergroup distance (differences in group central tendencies) and group variability were manipulated orthogonally, resulting in different levels of intergroup distinctiveness (low, intermediate, and high). In line with predictions, in-group bias and positive differentiation were greatest, for both minimal and natural groups, when the combination of group variability and intergroup distance produced intermediate levels of group distinctiveness. The potential of this integrative model to account for disparate findings is discussed.
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