Who is watching over you? The role of shared identity in perceptions of surveillance

O'Donnell, AT, Jetten, J and Ryan, MK (2010) Who is watching over you? The role of shared identity in perceptions of surveillance. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40 1: 135-147. doi:10.1002/ejsp.615

Author O'Donnell, AT
Jetten, J
Ryan, MK
Title Who is watching over you? The role of shared identity in perceptions of surveillance
Journal name European Journal of Social Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0046-2772
Publication date 2010-02
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/ejsp.615
Volume 40
Issue 1
Start page 135
End page 147
Total pages 13
Place of publication Bognor Regis, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Two studies were conducted to investigate the role of social identity in appraisals of the purpose and acceptance of surveillance. In Study 1 (N  = 112), a survey study demonstrated that there is a negative relationship between identification with one's city and the extent to which public closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance is perceived as an invasion of privacy. This relationship was mediated by perceptions that the purpose of surveillance is to ensure safety. Study 2 (N  = 139) manipulated identity salience at the sub-group and superordinate level and the source of surveillance. Results demonstrated that surveillance originating from fellow sub-group members was perceived as less privacy invading than surveillance originating from the superordinate group, but only when that sub-group identity was salient. No differences in perceptions of privacy invasion were found when the more inclusive identity was made salient. We argue that whether surveillance is perceived as an invasion of privacy depends on the perceived social relationship with the source of the surveillance—surveillance is perceived as more acceptable when it originates from a group with which one identifies or shares an identity. Practical implications are discussed.
Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Keyword Social identity
Group polarization
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes This article was published online on 25 February 2009. An error was subsequently identified. This notice is included in the online and print versions to indicate that both have been corrected 12 January 2010.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Created: Sun, 28 Feb 2010, 00:04:58 EST