The solace of radicalism: Self-uncertainty and group identification in the face of threat

Hogg, Michael A., Meehan, Christie and Farquharson, Jayne (2010) The solace of radicalism: Self-uncertainty and group identification in the face of threat. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46 6: 1061-1066. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2010.05.005


Author Hogg, Michael A.
Meehan, Christie
Farquharson, Jayne
Title The solace of radicalism: Self-uncertainty and group identification in the face of threat
Journal name Journal of Experimental Social Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-1031
1096-0465
Publication date 2010-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jesp.2010.05.005
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 46
Issue 6
Start page 1061
End page 1066
Total pages 6
Place of publication Maryland Heights, MO, United States
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Subject 3207 Social Psychology
3312 Sociology and Political Science
Abstract From uncertainty-identity theory, it was hypothesized that where people feel their self-relevant values and practices are under threat, self-uncertainty strengthens identification with "radical" groups, and either has no effect on or weakens identification with "moderate" groups. Since this hypothesis was tested on Australian students, who prefer to identify with moderate groups, the context-specific expectation was for that preference to disappear under uncertainty. This prediction was confirmed by a laboratory experiment in which self-uncertainty and group radicalism were manipulated in a 2 × 2 design (N= 82); the preference to identify with a moderate over a radical group disappeared under uncertainty because uncertainty strengthened identification with the radical group. This effect was directly mirrored in people's intentions to engage in specific group behaviors, and behavioral intentions were mediated by identification. The research is framed by a discussion of the relationship between uncertainty and social extremism, and implications for future research are noted.
Formatted abstract
From uncertainty-identity theory, it was hypothesized that where people feel their self-relevant values and practices are under threat, self-uncertainty strengthens identification with "radical" groups, and either has no effect on or weakens identification with "moderate" groups. Since this hypothesis was tested on Australian students, who prefer to identify with moderate groups, the context-specific expectation was for that preference to disappear under uncertainty. This prediction was confirmed by a laboratory experiment in which self-uncertainty and group radicalism were manipulated in a 2 × 2 design (N= 82); the preference to identify with a moderate over a radical group disappeared under uncertainty because uncertainty strengthened identification with the radical group. This effect was directly mirrored in people's intentions to engage in specific group behaviors, and behavioral intentions were mediated by identification. The research is framed by a discussion of the relationship between uncertainty and social extremism, and implications for future research are noted. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
Keyword Social identity
Uncertainty
Group processes
Entitativity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Created: Sun, 26 Dec 2010, 10:04:39 EST