Identity Fusion and Status of the Evaluator as Moderators of Self-Enhancement and Self-Verification at the Group Level of Self-Description
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We examined the influence of identity fusion and status of evaluator on willingness to fight for one’s group after group-descriptive or not group-descriptive feedback. The valence of evaluative information was varied as well: feedback either support negative group-stereotype (negative but descriptive condition) or contradict negative group-stereotype (positive but not descriptive condition). In two studies (N=208 & N=119) we partially replicated previous findings on self-verification. Individuals fused with one’s group were more prone than non fused to fight for group members after receiving, challenging, not group-describing feedback, but only when evaluator’s status was high. When the evaluator’ status was low, fused participants (vs. non fused) engaged in self-enhancement strategies: that is they endorse radical behavior after negative, even if group-describing, feedback. We discuss the importance of identity fusion and evaluator’s status for determining when self-enhancement and self-verification will and will not be evoke.
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