The impact of salient self-identities on relative deprivation and action intentions

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Abstract

Salient self-identities and their impact upon feelings of relative deprivation (RD) and subsequent action intentions were examined. Eight experimental conditions (Personal/Group Salience × Large/Small Intragroup Inequalities × Large/Small Intergroup Inequalities) were created utilizing a role-play design. Significant main effects for both salience and social inequalities were found to influence both RD and action intentions. In accordance with self-categorization theory, when group compared to personal identities were made salient, stronger feelings of group RD and greater likelihood of collective action intentions were reported. Alternatively, when personal compared to group identities were made salient, greater likelihood of individual actions were reported. In accordance with relative deprivation theory, when intergroup inequalities were large compared to small, stronger feelings of group RD and less likelihood of collective action were reported. Alternatively, when intragroup inequalities were large compared to small, stronger feelings of personal RD were reported.

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