- On being peripheral: Effects of identity insecurity on personal and collective self-esteem
- European Journal of Social Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 32 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
We examined collective self-esteem and personal self-esteem as a function of anticipated changes in one's prototypicality within a valued ingroup. In Study 1 (N = 80), all participants received information that they were currently peripheral group members. Expectations for the future were then manipulated, with some expecting to become more prototypical and others expecting they would be even more peripheral in the future. In addition, the source of future movement (either the group or the self) was varied. It was found that when the group was the source of movement, those who expected to shift to a more prototypical position in the future had higher collective self-esteem than those who expected to change to an even more peripheral position. In contrast, those who anticipated an even more peripheral position had higher personal self-esteem than those who expected to become more prototypical in the future. In Study 2 (N = 100), intragroup position at present (peripheral versus prototypical) and future intragroup position (peripheral versus prototypical) were manipulated orthogonally. It was found that future expectations only affected self-esteem among those with an insecure current identity, but not among those who were currently prototypical of the ingroup. In addition, ingroup favoritism was mediated by self-esteem changes among those whose identity was insecure. The importance of a dynamic framework for investigating group processes is stressed.
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