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To fit in or stand out? The interaction between mortality salience, dissent and self esteem on social projection

To fit in or stand out? The interaction between mortality salience, dissent and self esteem on social projection

Smith, Rebecca (2007) To fit in or stand out? The interaction between mortality salience, dissent and self esteem on social projection. In: The British Psychological Society Social Section Annual Conference, 09 May 2007 - 09 Jul 2007, University of Kent, Canterbury. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Social projection (SP) refers to our tendency to assume that others think the same as we do, but the effect can also be used to detect the extent to which participants want to see themselves as similar to others. Simon et al (1997) found that participants informed that they were deviant increased their SP but those told that they were conformist reduced theirs. This compensatory function supports Brewer’s optimal distinctiveness which states that a balance must be struck between competing desires to feel similar and unique. In line with terror management theory, the effect was particularly apparent under conditions of mortality salience (MS). So far SP has only been examined on measures that target personal identity so this experiment developed a measure to target social identity as well. Participants were provided with either minority or majority dissent feedback, in MS or control conditions, and their SP on items relevant to personal and social identity were recorded. Results showed that group feedback only impacted upon participants SP on social identity measures and interacted with MS and self-esteem; those with high self-esteem had higher SP scores following minority dissent under conditions of mortality salience, indicating an attempt to assert their individuality. On SP measures targeting personal identity, MS and self-esteem interacted; the death prime increased SP scores for those with low self-esteem but decreased it for those with high self-esteem. Findings are interpreted in terms of TMT and optimal distinctiveness theory and their applications.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: Abstracts from Society conferences and events from February 2006 onwards are available in a searchable online database. This database replaces the printed Proceedings which used to be sent to all members in February and August. Archive copies of Proceedings up until Volume 14, Number 1 (February 2006) are still available to download as PDF documents. The Society does not hold copies of papers presented at conferences. Some conferences do not publish abstracts in Proceedings.
Uncontrolled Keywords: social projection, social identity, self-esteem
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care > Department of Psychology & Counselling
School of Health & Social Care
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:07
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/2604

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