Sociology, Social Groups
Can people influence others solely by virtue of shared group membership? To address this and related questions, we offer a theory of group-mediated social influence and then test it in a standardized collective task setting. The theory capitalizes on uncertainty reduction principles found in two longstanding social psychological traditions: social identity theory and status characteristics theory. Our primary hypothesis was that in-group members would be more influential than out-group members. Results from the experiment indicate that in-group members were indeed more influential than out-group members. These findings supported a key derivation of our theory, and demonstrated that the integration accounts for phenomena that are not addressed by either of the motivating theories.
Published in Current Research in Social Psychology, ed. Michael Lovaglia, Volume 13, Issue 3, 2007, pages 22-38.