Author Note: Ken'ichiro Nakashima, Preschool Education Section, Nagasaki Women's Junior College.
In-group representation and social value affect the use of in-group identification for maintaining and enhancing self-evaluation
Article first published online: 16 DEC 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Asian Journal of Social Psychology © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association
Asian Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 15, Issue 1, pages 49–59, March 2012
How to Cite
Nakashima, K., Isobe, C. and Ura, M. (2012), In-group representation and social value affect the use of in-group identification for maintaining and enhancing self-evaluation. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 15: 49–59. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-839X.2011.01361.x
- Issue published online: 3 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 16 DEC 2011
- Received 13 October 2009; accepted 18 July 2011.
- common bond group;
- common identity group;
- independent–interdependent self-construal;
- in-group social value;
- strategic use of in-group identification;
- threat to self-esteem
Individuals with independent self-construals identify with their in-group in order to buffer threats to self-esteem to a greater degree than do those with interdependent self-construals. This study focused on the effect of the in-group's social value and representation on this identification process among individuals who reported various real-world threats to their self-esteem. We conducted a questionnaire survey for university students and we examined how self-construal, the in-group social value, and the in-group representation either moderate or mediate the relationship between threat to self-esteem and identification with their academic departments. The results of multiple-group analyses of structural equation modelling showed that independents who reported more threats to their self-esteem identified with the in-group when it was high in social value. In contrast, they did not exhibit in-group identification when it was low in social value. Interdependents showed less in-group identification regardless of the in-group's social value. The representation of the in-group as a common identity group mediated the relationship between threat to self-esteem and in-group identification for independents, whereas the representation of a common bond group played the same role for interdependents. These findings suggest the importance of considering the role of self-construal and the in-group social value, along with the representation of in-group, in understanding in-group identification in situations of threat to self-esteem.