Social Identification and Group Performance: The Effect of Different War Outcomes on National Pride, the Sense of Belonging and the Sense of Community Among Citizens

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Hörsaal 4C G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Maya HADAR, University of Konstanz, Germany
It is long been known that Identification with in-groups is motivated by the need to belong and to participate in bounded cooperative social units. Once the self is attached to a distinctive in-group, additional motives to achieve positive valuation are engaged. The context of real life conflict between groups has interesting characteristics that permit a close examination of some of the central assumptions in social identity theory. Individuals’ aspiration to achieve a positive self-esteem may clash with their membership in a social group, when social comparisons are made with a clearly superior out-group (for example, following groups’ defeat in a war). No empirical work on the effects of group performance on individual’s social identity saliency has so far been framed within social identity theory and applied in the context of political science. The current research examines variations in social identity’s saliency (including the components of national pride, sense of belonging and sense of community) of group members, generated by different war outcomes (victory, defeat, stalemate and agreement). The study also sheds light on the intricate relations between social identification of individual group members and group performance. This Internet based research, supports the conclusion that a positive group identity is sustained despite poor group performance, as no significant differences between groups were observed across parameters and conditions. The paper also addresses the psychological and sociological mechanisms that may account for the found effect, and discusses the importance of the findings in the realm of post conflict societies.