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Pathways to hostile collective action: The roles of general attitudes toward the advantaged group and situational anger


Correspondence: Professor Erping Wang, Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 4A Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China, 100101. Email:


Collective action is a group behavior that aims to improve the status, power, or influence of an entire group. The present study focused on hostile collective action performed for releasing negative emotions, and explored a pathway including the roles of general attitudes toward the advantaged group and situational group-based anger in predicting the disadvantaged groups’ hostile collective action. Group-level data were collected via a laboratory experiment. The results obtained using multiple regression analysis suggested that general attitudes toward the advantaged group formed before the trigger event predicted hostile collective action indirectly through the mediating effects of situational group-based anger and collective action tendencies, which were both produced after that trigger event. In addition, situational group-based anger predicted hostile collective action fully through collective action tendencies. These pathways provided a continuous process of hostile collective action in which general attitudes toward the advantaged group that were formed before the trigger events would influence situational group-based anger when the trigger events occurred, and then affected hostile collective action for responding to these events. Thus, hostile collective action could be predicted before the trigger events by monitoring the disadvantaged groups’ attitudes toward the advantaged group. Moreover, reducing destructive collective action by improving intergroup attitudes through some effective interventions was discussed in this study.