Dying and killing for one's group: Identity fusion moderates responses to intergroup versions of the Trolley Problem

Swann, William B., Gómez, Ángel, Dovidio, John F., Hart, Sonia and Jetten, Jolanda (2010) Dying and killing for one's group: Identity fusion moderates responses to intergroup versions of the Trolley Problem. Psychological Science, 21 8: 1176-1183. doi:10.1177/0956797610376656


Author Swann, William B.
Gómez, Ángel
Dovidio, John F.
Hart, Sonia
Jetten, Jolanda
Title Dying and killing for one's group: Identity fusion moderates responses to intergroup versions of the Trolley Problem
Journal name Psychological Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0956-7976
1467-9280
Publication date 2010-08-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0956797610376656
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 21
Issue 8
Start page 1176
End page 1183
Total pages 8
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, United States
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Subject 3200 Psychology
Abstract Using an intergroup version of the trolley problem, we explored participants’ willingness to sacrifice their lives for their group. In Study 1, Spaniards whose personal identities were fused with their group identity endorsed saving fellow Spaniards by jumping to their deaths in front of a runaway trolley. Studies 2 and 3 showed that the self-sacrificial behaviors of fused Spaniards generalized to saving members of an extended in-group (Europeans) but not members of an out-group (Americans). In Study 4, fused participants endorsed pushing aside a fellow Spaniard who was poised to jump to his death and initiate a chain of events that would lead to the deaths of several terrorists, so that they could commit this act themselves. In all four studies, nonfused participants expressed reluctance to sacrifice themselves, and identification with the group predicted nothing. The nature of identity fusion and its relationship to related constructs are discussed. © The Author(s) 2010.
Keyword Identity fusion
Social identity
Personal identity
Extreme behavior
Self-verification
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 06 Mar 2011, 10:02:46 EST