Safety in Numbers: does increasing the salience of social group membership enhance cognitive resilience?

Lynch, Kristianne (2013). Safety in Numbers: does increasing the salience of social group membership enhance cognitive resilience? Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Lynch, Kristianne
Thesis Title Safety in Numbers: does increasing the salience of social group membership enhance cognitive resilience?
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2013-10-09
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Catherine Haslam
Total pages 180
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Previous research has suggested that belonging to multiple groups yields both cognitive and health benefits (Boden-Alabala, et al, 2005; Haslam, et al., 2008; Uchino, 1992; Flatt & Hughes, 2013; Wilson et al. 2002; Fratiglioni, Paillard-Borg & Winblad, 2004). Drawing on these group memberships has also been shown to be an important resource in helping individuals to deal with stress (Carr, 2011), improve health (Berkman, 1995), adjust to transitional life experiences (Brook, Garcia, & Fleming, 2008; Iyer, Jetten, Tsivrikos, Postmes, & Haslam, 2009; Steinberg et al. 2003), and preserve cognitive integrity (Carr, 2011). Recent experimental work indicates that groups also help to build physical resilience (Jones & Jetten, 2010). In this study we wish to extend the body of research to investigate whether social groups are an important source of cognitive resilience. To this end we empirically investigated the role of multiple group memberships in the cognitive domains of memory, problem solving and attention. Older adults (M=74.28, SD=7.374) were randomly primed with one (n=20), three (n=20) or five (n=20) groups and then assessed on a variety of cognitive tests. While original hypothesis were not supported, posthoc tests of group importance revealed that participants who rated multiple groups as important performed better in the more difficult task of Memory Delayed recall. We suggest that memory results occurred for those primed with more important groups as multiple memberships foster an intrinsic motivation to succeed and provide more coping mechanisms which can be applied in the face of negative ‘old and forgetful’ age stereotypes.
Keyword safety in numbers
salience of social grioup
cognitive resilience

 
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Created: Thu, 03 Jul 2014, 09:52:39 EST by Danico Jones on behalf of School of Psychology