Why the Psychological Experience of Respect Matters in Group Life: An Integrative Account

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Abstract

The psychological experience of respect has implications for the nature and quality of group life and for the individual's psychological and physical well-being. However, the manner in which respect has been studied and defined has frequently differed among researchers, making it difficult to connect the various findings. Whereas some researchers have focused on the implications of respectful treatment from group members (e.g., authorities, peers), others have focused on individuals’ perceptions of how they are generally evaluated by the group. We present the dual pathway model of respect in which these various lines of research are integrated within a single framework. Organized around two basic social motives – the need for status and the need to belong – the model describes two pathways (status evaluation and liking) through which respect from the group shapes social engagement, self-esteem, and health. These evaluative dimensions are informed by interactions with group authorities and peers and differentially predict social psychological outcomes.

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