Table of contents(10 chapters)
In this paper, we aim to understand why consumers often prefer products made using traditional practices even when products made using new practices are not of lower quality. We argue that this resistance, which we call “production process conservatism,” is heightened when the product is used in the performance of a social ritual.
We develop this argument in the context of diamond jewelry, as consumers have generally been resistant to diamonds that are produced in laboratories, i.e., lab-created diamonds. Hypotheses were tested using experiments conducted with an online sample (Experiment 1) and with an MBA student sample (Experiment 2).
In Experiment 1, we find that married female respondents significantly prefer mined diamonds to lab-created diamonds when they are used as part of an engagement gift as opposed to a more routine gift. In Experiment 2, we find the same effect among women; in addition, the perceived risk associated with the ritual is found to mediate this production process conservatism.
This paper contributes to the understanding of a macrosocial phenomenon – acceptance of an innovation – by examining microinteractive processes in groups.
Originality/value of Paper
This paper develops an original theory that when individuals deviate from traditional aspects of rituals, they risk signaling a lack of commitment or cultural competence to the group even when such aspects are not explicitly stated.
An accelerometer is a device that measures force due to gravity or a change in speed or direction of travel. This paper describes accelerometers and their application in other disciplines and, by way of an example, explores the utility of accelerometers for studying aggression. We end with a discussion of additional ways accelerometers might be used in group processes research.
We first review the use of accelerometers in other disciplines. We then present the results of four studies that demonstrate the use of accelerometers to measure aggression. Study 1 establishes the measure’s concurrent validity. Study 2 concerns its stability and representative reliability. Study 3 seeks to establish the measure’s predictive validity by associating it with an existing measure. Study 4 demonstrates the ability of accelerometers to address a sociological research question.
In Studies 1 and 2, we find that accelerometers can be used to differentiate between distinct levels of aggression. In Study 3, we find that men’s average peak acceleration correlates with a previously validated measure of aggression. Study 4 uses accelerometers to reproduce a well-established finding in the aggression literature.
We conclude that accelerometers are a flexible tool for group processes’ researchers and social scientists more broadly. Our findings should prove useful to social scientists interested in measuring aggression or in employing accelerometers in their work.
We review literature linking patterns of vocal accommodation in the paraverbal range of the voice to small group structures of status and dominance. We provide a thorough overview of the current state of vocal accommodation research, tracing the development of the model from its early focus on patterns of mutual vocal adaptation, to the current focus on structural factors producing patterns of unequal accommodation between group members. We also highlight gaps in existing knowledge and opportunities to contribute to the development of vocal accommodation as an unobtrusive, nonconscious measure of small group hierarchies.
We trace the empirical development of vocal accommodation as a measure of status and power, and discuss connections between vocal accommodation and two prominent theoretical frameworks: communication accommodation theory (CAT) and expectation states theory. We also provide readers with a guide for collecting and analyzing vocal data and for calculating two related measures of vocal accommodation.
Across multiple studies, vocal accommodation significantly predicts observers’ perceptions regarding interactants engaged in debates and interviews. Studies have specifically linked vocal accommodation to perceptions of relative power or dominance, but have not shown a relationship between accommodation and perceptions of prestige.
Vocal accommodation measures have clear applications for measuring and modeling group dynamics. More work is needed to understand how accommodation functions in clearly-defined status situations, how the magnitude of status differences affects the degree of accommodation inequality, and how vocal accommodation is related to other correlates of social status, including openness to influence and contributions to group tasks.
Identity Theory Paradigm Integration: Assessing the Role of Prominence and Salience in the Verification and Self-Esteem Relationship
The purpose of this paper was to empirically integrate the structural and perceptual control programs in the identity theory. This integration involved examining how the structural concepts of prominence and salience moderate the impact that the perceptual control process of nonverification has role-specific self-esteem.
We use survey data from normative and counter-normative conditions in the parent and spouse identities to test a series of structural equation models. In each model, we test the direct impacts of prominence, salience, and nonverification on worth, efficacy, and authenticity. We also test interaction effects between prominence and nonverification as well as salience and nonverification on the three self-esteem outcomes.
Out of the 24 possible interaction effects, only three were significant. By contrast, the expected positive effects of prominence on worth were supported among all identities, while the expected positive effects of salience on self-esteem were supported only among normative identities. Also as expected, the negative effects of nonverification on self-esteem were supported, though most strongly among counter-normative identities.
Our findings indicate that the structural and perceptual control concepts have independent effects on self-esteem. Thus, future research should incorporate both programs when examining identity processes on self-esteem. However, depending on the normativity or counter-normativity of the identities of interest, research may find it useful to focus on concepts from one program over the other.
Originality/value of Paper
This paper is a test of integration of the two research paradigms in the identity theory, which addresses the micro–macro problem in a unique way.
We examine the effect of an offender’s occupational status on criminal sentencing recommendations using a vignette experiment that crosses the offender’s occupational status (white-collar vs blue- or pink-collar) and the crime label, with one label (overcharging) associated with white-collar offenders and the other (robbery) associated with lower-status offenders. We expect negative and potent post-crime impressions of the offender and the crime to increase perceptions of criminality and, in turn, the recommended sentence. We term these negative and potent impressions “criminality scores.” Drawing on affect control theory (ACT) impression formation equations, we generate criminality scores for the offenders and the crimes in each condition and, using those scores as a guide, predict that white-collar offenders and offenders described as “robbing” will receive a higher recommended sentence. We also expect eight perceptual factors central to theories of judicial sentencing mediate these relationships.
We test these hypotheses with a vignette experiment, administered to female university students, that varies a male offender’s occupation and the word used to describe his crime.
Consistent with our ACT-derived predictions, white-collar offenders and offenders described as robbing received a higher recommended sentence. But, contrary to predictions, only one perceptual factor, crime seriousness, mediated these effects, and the mediation was partial.
Our findings suggest the perpetrator’s post-crime appearance of negativity and power offer a valuable supplement to theories of judicial sentencing.
This study is the first to test the hypothesis that sentencing disparities may be due to the way the perpetrators’ sociodemographic attributes shape their post-crime appearance of negativity and power.
Understanding White Americans’ Perceptions of “Reverse” Discrimination: An Application of a New Theory of Status Dissonance
This chapter has two central goals: (1) to present a foundational argument for status dissonance theory and (2) to apply its central propositions to understanding why some White Americans perceive anti-White bias. Building upon status construction theory, status dissonance theory generally posits that one’s overall status value determined by their combined status characteristics influences the degree they internalize normative referential structures. The salience of normative referential structures frames one’s justice perceptions, which creates status dissonance that manifests as a positional lens through which individuals perceive and interact with the social world. In an application of this framework, it is hypothesized that among Whites, one’s gender and class will impact one’s perceptions of resource reallocation (i.e., racial equality), which in turn impacts the likelihood one perceives anti-White bias generally and personally.
Using the Pew Research Center’s Racial Attitudes in America III Survey, this study employs logistic and ordered probit regressions on a nationally representative sample of White Americans to assess the above propositions.
Among Whites, males, those whom self-identified as lower class, and the least educated have the highest odds of perceiving resource re-allocation, and in turn all of these factors increased the odds of perceiving anti-White bias generally in society as well as perceiving personal encounters of “reverse” discrimination.
The findings and theoretical propositions provide a foundation for additional investigations into understanding the causes and consequences of within and between group variation in perceptions and responses to social inequality as well as mechanisms to counter status hierarchies.
We explore how, and how accurately, people assess their influence over others’ behavior and attitudes. We describe the process by which a person would determine whether he or she was responsible for changing someone else’s behavior or attitude, and the perceptual, motivational, and cognitive factors that are likely to impact whether an influencer’s claims of responsibility are excessive, insufficient, or accurate.
We first review classic work on social influence, responsibility or blame attribution, and perceptions of control, identifying a gap in the literature with respect to understanding how people judge their own responsibility for other people’s behavior and attitudes. We then draw from a wide range of social psychological research to propose a model of how an individual would determine his or her degree of responsibility for someone else’s behavior or attitude.
A potential influencer’s beliefs about the extent of his or her influence can determine whether he or she engages in an influence attempt, how he or she engages in such an attempt, and whether he or she takes responsibility for another person’s behavior or beliefs.
Originality/value of paper
For decades, scholars researching social influence have explored how one’s behavior and attitudes are shaped by one’s social environment. However, amidst this focus on the perspective of the target of social influence, the perspective of the influencer has been ignored. This paper addresses the largely neglected question of how much responsibility influencers take for the impact their words, actions, and presence have on others.
Expectations ostensibly lead to the formation of hierarchies, and hierarchies are thought to improve coordination. A simulation model is introduced to determine whether expectations directly improve coordination.
Agent-based simulations of small group behavior are used to determine what rules for expectation formation best coordinate groups. Within groups of agents that have differing but unknown task abilities, pairs take turns playing a coordination game with one another. The group receives a positive payoff when one agent chooses to take a high-importance role (leader) and the other chooses a low-importance role (follower), where the payoff is proportional to the ability of the “leader.” When both individuals vie to be leader, a costly conflict gives the group information about which agent has a higher task-ability.
The rules governing individuals’ formation of expectations about one another often lead to coordination that is suboptimal: They do not capitalize on the differential abilities of group members. The rules do, however, minimize costly conflicts between individuals. Therefore, standard rules of expectation formation are only optimal when conflicts are costly or provide poor information.
Rules that govern the formation of expectations may have served an evolutionary purpose in guiding individuals towards coordination while minimizing conflict, but these psychologically hardwired rules lead to suboptimal hierarchies.
This paper looks at how well empirically observed expectation-generating rules lead to group coordination by adding a game theoretic conception of interaction to the e-state structuralism model of hierarchy formation.