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The effect of anticipated group-based emotions on discrimination and collective action

Shepherd, Lee 2011. The effect of anticipated group-based emotions on discrimination and collective action. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Intergroup behaviour is often regarded as selfish, unethical and immoral. In this thesis I argue against this proposition by stating that intergroup behaviour is guided by moral principles. I propose that negative anticipated group-based emotions serve the social function of promoting moral intergroup behaviour. I argue that aversive anticipated group-based emotions (such as shame) signal the harmful consequences of a future ingroup action and that the desire to avoid these aversive consequences motivates group members to inhibit immoral intergroup behaviour. The research in this thesis investigates the role of anticipated group-based guilt and shame in promoting moral and inhibiting immoral intergroup behaviour. In Chapter 2, I found that anticipated group-based shame and ingroup-directed anger (but not guilt) positively predicted collective action against a proposed ingroup transgression. The research in Chapter 3 assessed the role of anticipated group-based emotions and ingroup identification on discrimination. I found that people with low and high (but not moderate) levels of self-investment reduced discrimination when they anticipated aversive group-based emotions. In Chapter 4, I found that anticipated groupbased shame only moderated discrimination when the ingroup were of high-status and the social hierarchy was stable. In the majority of the studies in this thesis I found that group members are motivated to avoid ingroup transgressions when they anticipate experiencing groupbased shame for this action. I argue that this anticipated emotion signals that undertaking an action is likely to result in a social identity threat and that the desire to maintain a positive social identity motivates group members to avoid the transgression. I conclude by stating that this anticipated emotion serves the social function of promoting moral intergroup behaviour and protecting social identity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intergroup behaviour; Moral principles; Group-based emotions; Moral intergroup behaviour; Ingroup transgressions; Social identity
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:24

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