Perceived collective continuity: seeing groups as entities that move through time



This paper presents two studies, conducted in two different countries, investigating perceptions of ingroups as enduring, temporally persistent entities, and introduces a new instrument measuring ‘perceived collective continuity’ (PCC). In Study 1 we show that perceptions of ingroup continuity are based on two main dimensions: perceived cultural continuity (perceived continuity of norms and traditions) and perceived historical continuity (perceived interconnection between different historical ages and events). This study also allows the construction of an internally consistent PCC scale including two subscales tapping on these two dimensions. Study 2 replicates findings from the first study; it also reveals that PCC is positively correlated to a set of social identity-related measures (e.g., group identification and collective self-esteem), and that its effects on these measures are mediated by perceived group entitativity. Overall, these two studies confirm that PCC is an important theoretical construct, and that the PCC scale may become an important instrument in future research on group processes and social identity. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.