The group as a resource: Reducing biased attributions for group success and failure via group affirmation

David K. Sherman, Zoe Kinias, Brenda Major, Heejung S. Kim, Mary Prenovost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations

Abstract

Self-affirmation theory proposes that people can respond to threats to the self by affirming alternative sources of self-integrity, resulting in greater openness to self-threatening information. The present research examines this at a group level by investigating whether a group affirmation (affirming an important group value) increases acceptance of threatening group information among sports teams and fans. In Study 1, athletes exhibited a group-serving attributional bias, which was eliminated by the group affirmation. In Study 2, the most highly identified fans exhibited the most bias in terms of their attributions, and this bias was eliminated by the group affirmation. These studies suggest that groups can serve as resources from which people can draw in response to threatening group events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1100-1112
Number of pages13
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume33
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Keywords

  • Attributional bias
  • Fans
  • Identification
  • Self-affirmation
  • Social identity

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