3 years ago

Time to go! Leaving the group in response to norm-deviations

Group norms determine which behavior members expect from each other. When members deviate from group norms, other members often (a) respond with confrontation (e.g., deviate-directed communication or exclusion of the deviate from the group), or (b) with escape, that is, with leaving the group themselves. However, to date, it is unclear under which specific circumstances these reactions occur. Two experiments were conducted to address this question. In both studies, participants perceived norm-deviant behavior of a group member to subvert the group's identity, which in turn predicted exclusion of the deviate and leaving the group. Group leaving, however, was especially likely when the norm-deviation was perceived to change the group's norm, either due to being accepted (vs. not accepted) by others (Study 1) or due to being shown by a group leader (Study 2). Furthermore, norm-deviations by a leader resulted in a lower social identification with the group, which in turn predicted leaving. These findings suggest that group members leave their group in response to others' norm-deviations only if these deviations induce changes in the group norm and, thereby, reduce the fit between members' self-concepts and the group.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0022103116304292

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