The Impact of Group Entitativity on the Effectiveness of Social Support.

Tamara Butler (2010). The Impact of Group Entitativity on the Effectiveness of Social Support. Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Tamara Butler
Thesis Title The Impact of Group Entitativity on the Effectiveness of Social Support.
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Blake McKimmie
Total pages 150
Abstract/Summary Research has shown the benefits of social support, especially in times of high demand; however, the majority of this research has focussed on the effects of support in relatively homogenous groups. No research has investigated how the different structure of online social networking groups (such as Facebook or Twitter) might impact on the effectiveness of social support. Traditional homogenous groups and online social networks may differ in structural ways, such as entitativity. Entitativity is the extent to which a group is seen as a unit or coherent whole (Campbell, 1958). Entitativity may impact on the effect of social support by moderating the extent to which support from a group member is generalised to the group as a whole. A preliminary study revealed differences between online social networks and traditional groups on a number of dimensions of entitativity (e.g., see Lickel et al., 2000). Study 2 manipulated social support and group type. Participants (N = 83, 72.3% females, mean age = 20.70, SD = 6.67) completed demanding math problems and coping outcomes were obtained. Manipulation checks revealed that the support manipulation was successful, but not the group type manipulation. Support did not have any impact on coping outcomes. Regression analyses revealed that complexity of the group might affect primary threat appraisals and secondary appraisals. This research has implications for exploring the ways individuals appraise potential stressors in the context of groups differing in complexity.

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Created: Wed, 06 Apr 2011, 16:07:41 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology