Rule transgressions in groups: The conditional nature of newcomers' willingness to confront deviance

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Abstract

We provide evidence that, compared to old-timers, newcomers' intentions to confront deviants are more sensitive to the social context when confronted with rule-violations. Female rugby players (N = 71) were asked for their disapproval of, and willingness to sanction, ingroup and outgroup members who broke important rules in rugby. We also manipulated the status of the audience and found that newcomers were more likely to confront deviants when the audience was high status, and when there was little risk of alienating other ingroup members. In contrast, old-timers expressed relatively high intentions to confront deviants regardless of the context. Discussion focuses on the idea that newcomers resiled from confronting deviants when an ingroup rule-breaker had to be directly confronted, presumably because the perceived costs of doing so exceeded the potential benefits of ingratiating oneself to the high-status audience. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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