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Steeling Ourselves: Intragroup Communication while Anticipating Intergroup Contact Evokes Defensive Intergroup Perceptions.

Greijdanus H, Postmes T, Gordijn EH, van Zomeren M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Experiment 1 examined the effects of intragroup communication (vs. individual thought) and anticipated face-to-face intergroup contact (vs. no anticipated face-to-face intergroup contact).Together, these results support the idea that steeling is a defensive reaction to prepare for an anxiety-arousing intergroup confrontation.Although steeling is also associated with positive consequences such as increased ingroup solidarity and social creativity, this hardened stance may be an obstacle to conflict de-escalation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Social Psychology, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Two experiments investigated the role of intragroup communication in intergroup conflict (de-)escalation. Experiment 1 examined the effects of intragroup communication (vs. individual thought) and anticipated face-to-face intergroup contact (vs. no anticipated face-to-face intergroup contact). The group discussions of stigmatized group members who anticipated face-to-face intergroup contact revolved more around intergroup hostility. This boosted ingroup identification and increased social creativity but also led to steeling (a hardening of perceived intergroup relations). In Experiment 2, new participants listened to the taped group discussions. The discussions of groups anticipating face-to-face intergroup contact evoked more intergroup anxiety-related discomfort than discussions of groups not anticipating face-to-face intergroup encounters. Together, these results support the idea that steeling is a defensive reaction to prepare for an anxiety-arousing intergroup confrontation. Although steeling is also associated with positive consequences such as increased ingroup solidarity and social creativity, this hardened stance may be an obstacle to conflict de-escalation.

No MeSH data available.


The effects of intragroup communication and anticipated face-to-face intergroup contact on identification.Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals, scale ranged from 1 to 7. Intragroup communication while anticipating face-to-face intergroup contact (contrasted to the other three conditions) increases group members’ identification with their ingroup.
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pone.0131049.g003: The effects of intragroup communication and anticipated face-to-face intergroup contact on identification.Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals, scale ranged from 1 to 7. Intragroup communication while anticipating face-to-face intergroup contact (contrasted to the other three conditions) increases group members’ identification with their ingroup.

Mentions: Fig 3 shows the effects on identification. In line with expectations, intragroup communication while anticipating intergroup contact led participants to identify more strongly with their ingroup, γ = 0.37 (SD = 1.94), t(50) = 2.19, p = .03. This γ coefficient means that, controlling for the effects of the other contrasts and the multilevel structure of the data, participants who engaged in intragroup communication while anticipating intergroup contact rated their ingroup identification, on average, 0.37 points higher on a 7-point scale than participants in the remaining three conditions. As expected, the control contrasts were non-significant, ps > .56. Participants’ average ingroup identification was above-midpoint (overall intercept 4.95, t(53) = 21.93, p < .001).


Steeling Ourselves: Intragroup Communication while Anticipating Intergroup Contact Evokes Defensive Intergroup Perceptions.

Greijdanus H, Postmes T, Gordijn EH, van Zomeren M - PLoS ONE (2015)

The effects of intragroup communication and anticipated face-to-face intergroup contact on identification.Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals, scale ranged from 1 to 7. Intragroup communication while anticipating face-to-face intergroup contact (contrasted to the other three conditions) increases group members’ identification with their ingroup.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4476566&req=5

pone.0131049.g003: The effects of intragroup communication and anticipated face-to-face intergroup contact on identification.Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals, scale ranged from 1 to 7. Intragroup communication while anticipating face-to-face intergroup contact (contrasted to the other three conditions) increases group members’ identification with their ingroup.
Mentions: Fig 3 shows the effects on identification. In line with expectations, intragroup communication while anticipating intergroup contact led participants to identify more strongly with their ingroup, γ = 0.37 (SD = 1.94), t(50) = 2.19, p = .03. This γ coefficient means that, controlling for the effects of the other contrasts and the multilevel structure of the data, participants who engaged in intragroup communication while anticipating intergroup contact rated their ingroup identification, on average, 0.37 points higher on a 7-point scale than participants in the remaining three conditions. As expected, the control contrasts were non-significant, ps > .56. Participants’ average ingroup identification was above-midpoint (overall intercept 4.95, t(53) = 21.93, p < .001).

Bottom Line: Experiment 1 examined the effects of intragroup communication (vs. individual thought) and anticipated face-to-face intergroup contact (vs. no anticipated face-to-face intergroup contact).Together, these results support the idea that steeling is a defensive reaction to prepare for an anxiety-arousing intergroup confrontation.Although steeling is also associated with positive consequences such as increased ingroup solidarity and social creativity, this hardened stance may be an obstacle to conflict de-escalation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Social Psychology, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Two experiments investigated the role of intragroup communication in intergroup conflict (de-)escalation. Experiment 1 examined the effects of intragroup communication (vs. individual thought) and anticipated face-to-face intergroup contact (vs. no anticipated face-to-face intergroup contact). The group discussions of stigmatized group members who anticipated face-to-face intergroup contact revolved more around intergroup hostility. This boosted ingroup identification and increased social creativity but also led to steeling (a hardening of perceived intergroup relations). In Experiment 2, new participants listened to the taped group discussions. The discussions of groups anticipating face-to-face intergroup contact evoked more intergroup anxiety-related discomfort than discussions of groups not anticipating face-to-face intergroup encounters. Together, these results support the idea that steeling is a defensive reaction to prepare for an anxiety-arousing intergroup confrontation. Although steeling is also associated with positive consequences such as increased ingroup solidarity and social creativity, this hardened stance may be an obstacle to conflict de-escalation.

No MeSH data available.