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Integrating identity and instrumental approaches to intergroup differentiation: Different contexts, different motives

By D. Scheepers, Russell Spears, B. Doosje and Antony Stephen Reid Manstead


In two experiments, the authors examined the interplay of two functions of intergroup differentiation: an identity function (obtaining a distinct and meaningful social identity) and an instrumental function (advancing group goals). In Experiment 1, in minimal and thus relatively meaningless groups, participants differentiate (identity function), but those with a group goal differentiated more strongly later on than those without (instrumental function). In Experiment 2, both the possibility to differentiate and the presence of a group goal were manipulated orthogonally. Highest differentiation (and cohesion and identification) resulted in the minimal condition (no goal, no prior differentiation opportunity) and in the instrumental condition (goal and prior differentiation opportunity). Mediation analyses and a group effort measure provided evidence for the different functions proposed to underlie differentiation in these two cases. The authors propose an integration between social identity and interdependence approaches to group differentiation: Different conditions promote differentiation for different reasons

Topics: BF, HT
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 2002
OAI identifier: oai:
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