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Does implied community size predict likeability of a similar stranger?

Launay J, Dunbar RI - Evol. Hum. Behav. (2015)

Bottom Line: In two experiments, we show that more exclusive (smaller) groups evoke more positive ratings of the likeability of a stranger.When groups appear to be too inclusive (i.e. large) homophily no longer occurs, suggesting that it is not only positive associations with a trait that cause homophily, but a sense of the exclusiveness of a group is also important.These results suggest that group membership based on a variety of traits can encourage cohesion between people from diverse backgrounds, and may be a useful tool in overcoming differences between groups.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford.

ABSTRACT

Homophily, the tendency for people to cluster with similar others, has primarily been studied in terms of proximal, psychological causes, such as a tendency to have positive associations with people who share traits with us. Here we investigate whether homophily could be correlated with perceived group membership, given that sharing traits with other people might signify membership of a specific community. In order to investigate this, we tested whether the amount of homophily that occurs between strangers is dependent on the number of people they believe share the common trait (i.e. the size of group that the trait identifies). In two experiments, we show that more exclusive (smaller) groups evoke more positive ratings of the likeability of a stranger. When groups appear to be too inclusive (i.e. large) homophily no longer occurs, suggesting that it is not only positive associations with a trait that cause homophily, but a sense of the exclusiveness of a group is also important. These results suggest that group membership based on a variety of traits can encourage cohesion between people from diverse backgrounds, and may be a useful tool in overcoming differences between groups.

No MeSH data available.


Experiment 1: mean homophily scores for likeability and IOS in different group exclusivity conditions. Homophily scores are calculated by subtracting ratings of Partner B from Partner A for each participant. Error bars give standard error.
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f0005: Experiment 1: mean homophily scores for likeability and IOS in different group exclusivity conditions. Homophily scores are calculated by subtracting ratings of Partner B from Partner A for each participant. Error bars give standard error.

Mentions: Preference scores for Partner A were determined for each participant by subtracting their ratings of Partner B from their ratings of Partner A for both likeability and IOS. Given that partners differ primarily on the number of shared traits, this preference score represents the homophily effect that occurs in each condition. There was a significant main effect of group size in the preference scores for likeability (Kruskal–Wallis: H2 = 10.5, P = 0.005). This result indicates that greater group exclusivity resulted in greater preference for Partner A compared with Partner B, as shown in Fig. 1. In order to test whether this preference for Partner A was significant in each of the exclusivity conditions, one-sample Wilcoxon tests were used on the preference scores. Preference scores were significantly greater than zero in the exclusive (Wilcoxon: V = 772, P < 0.0001) and intermediate groups (V = 510, P = 0.004), indicating that homophily occurred in these conditions. However, in the inclusive group preference scores were not greater than zero (V = 103, P > 0.5), suggesting that these options were too broad to trigger homophily.


Does implied community size predict likeability of a similar stranger?

Launay J, Dunbar RI - Evol. Hum. Behav. (2015)

Experiment 1: mean homophily scores for likeability and IOS in different group exclusivity conditions. Homophily scores are calculated by subtracting ratings of Partner B from Partner A for each participant. Error bars give standard error.
© Copyright Policy - CC BY-NC-SA
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4286121&req=5

f0005: Experiment 1: mean homophily scores for likeability and IOS in different group exclusivity conditions. Homophily scores are calculated by subtracting ratings of Partner B from Partner A for each participant. Error bars give standard error.
Mentions: Preference scores for Partner A were determined for each participant by subtracting their ratings of Partner B from their ratings of Partner A for both likeability and IOS. Given that partners differ primarily on the number of shared traits, this preference score represents the homophily effect that occurs in each condition. There was a significant main effect of group size in the preference scores for likeability (Kruskal–Wallis: H2 = 10.5, P = 0.005). This result indicates that greater group exclusivity resulted in greater preference for Partner A compared with Partner B, as shown in Fig. 1. In order to test whether this preference for Partner A was significant in each of the exclusivity conditions, one-sample Wilcoxon tests were used on the preference scores. Preference scores were significantly greater than zero in the exclusive (Wilcoxon: V = 772, P < 0.0001) and intermediate groups (V = 510, P = 0.004), indicating that homophily occurred in these conditions. However, in the inclusive group preference scores were not greater than zero (V = 103, P > 0.5), suggesting that these options were too broad to trigger homophily.

Bottom Line: In two experiments, we show that more exclusive (smaller) groups evoke more positive ratings of the likeability of a stranger.When groups appear to be too inclusive (i.e. large) homophily no longer occurs, suggesting that it is not only positive associations with a trait that cause homophily, but a sense of the exclusiveness of a group is also important.These results suggest that group membership based on a variety of traits can encourage cohesion between people from diverse backgrounds, and may be a useful tool in overcoming differences between groups.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford.

ABSTRACT

Homophily, the tendency for people to cluster with similar others, has primarily been studied in terms of proximal, psychological causes, such as a tendency to have positive associations with people who share traits with us. Here we investigate whether homophily could be correlated with perceived group membership, given that sharing traits with other people might signify membership of a specific community. In order to investigate this, we tested whether the amount of homophily that occurs between strangers is dependent on the number of people they believe share the common trait (i.e. the size of group that the trait identifies). In two experiments, we show that more exclusive (smaller) groups evoke more positive ratings of the likeability of a stranger. When groups appear to be too inclusive (i.e. large) homophily no longer occurs, suggesting that it is not only positive associations with a trait that cause homophily, but a sense of the exclusiveness of a group is also important. These results suggest that group membership based on a variety of traits can encourage cohesion between people from diverse backgrounds, and may be a useful tool in overcoming differences between groups.

No MeSH data available.