Group identification as a means of attitude restoration

This paper investigates the possibility that individuals selectively identify with groups as a means of restoring certainty in their attitudes. Specifically, we contend that (i) groups offer social validation in the form of attitudinal norms, (ii) individuals heighten their identification with groups that offer norms that are consistent with attitudes that have been undermined, and (iii) access to these norms reduces attitude uncertainty. Two experiments support this hypothesis by demonstrating greater identification following a loss of attitude certainty, though only with groups offering relevant attitudinal norms. Moreover, this identification is subsequently shown to promote attitude restoration in the form of increased certainty. Consequently, groups serve an important role in attitude restoration by protecting attitudes against uncertainty when a relevant group is available to bolster the attitude.


Publication Date:
Jul 02 2016
Date Submitted:
Nov 30 2018
ISSN:
0022-1031
Citation:
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
68




 Record created 2018-11-30, last modified 2019-04-03

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