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The more, the merrier? Numerical strength versus subgroup distinctiveness in minority groups

Livingstone, Andrew George, Spears, Russell, Manstead, Antony Stephen Reid and Bruder, Martin 2011. The more, the merrier? Numerical strength versus subgroup distinctiveness in minority groups. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 47 (4) , pp. 786-793. 10.1016/j.jesp.2011.03.012

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Evidence attests to the efforts made by minority groups to defend and promote ‘distinctive’ attributes that potentially define the ingroup. However, these attributes are often only available to a prototypical minority within the minority category. In two studies we tested the hypothesis that, under certain conditions, large projected increases in the numerical strength of a ‘distinctive’ attribute (emotional intelligence in Study 1; ingroup language in Study 2) within a minority category can paradoxically evoke less-than-positive reactions from those who already have the attribute. Findings confirmed that while a large projected increase in the numerical strength of a ‘distinctive’ attribute was viewed positively when the comparative context focused on the inter-category relation with a majority outgroup, this increase was viewed less positively, and as undermining their own identity, in a narrower intra-category context. Implications for identity management strategies in minority groups are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Distinctiveness; Minority groups
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0022-1031
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 07:34

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