Collective self and individual choice: the effects of intergroup comparative context on individual values and behaviour

A Rabinovich, T A Morton, T Postmes, Bas Verplanken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Self-categorization theory suggests that inter-group comparisons inform individual behaviour by affecting perceived in-group stereotypes that are internalized by group members. The present paper provides evidence for this chain of effects in the domain of environmental behaviour. In two studies, inter-group comparative context was manipulated. Study 1 found that the perceived in-group stereotype, self-stereotype (as represented by the reported value centrality), and behavioural intentions shifted away from a comparison out-group (irrespective of whether this was an upward or downward comparison). Study 1 also revealed that the effect of comparative context on individual environmental intentions was mediated by the perceived in-group stereotype and by changes in personal values. Study 2 extrapolated the observed effect on actual behavioural choices. The findings demonstrate the utility of a self-categorization approach to individual behaviour change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-569
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Volume51
Issue number4
Early online date20 Apr 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

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