Publication details

Outgroup threat and the emergence of cohesive groups: A cross-cultural examination

Authors

LANG Martin XYGALATAS Dimitrios KAVANAGH C.M. BOCCARDI N. HALBERSTADT J. JACKSON C. MARTINEZ M. REDDISH P. TONG E.M.W. VAZQUEZ A. WHITEHOUSE H. YAMAMOTO M.E. YUKI M. GOMEZ A.

Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source GROUP PROCESSES & INTERGROUP RELATIONS
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
Web https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/13684302211016961
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/13684302211016961
Keywords activity; cohesion; mirroring; outgroup threat; proximity; willingness to fight
Description Evolutionary models and empirical evidence suggest that outgroup threat is one of the strongest factors inducing group cohesion; however, little is known about the process of forming such cohesive groups. We investigated how outgroup threat galvanizes individuals to affiliate with others to form engaged units that are willing to act on behalf of their in-group. A total of 864 participants from six countries were randomly assigned to an outgroup threat, environmental threat, or no-threat condition. We measured the process of group formation through physical proximity and movement mirroring along with activity toward threat resolution, and found that outgroup threat induced activity and heightened mirroring in males. We also observed higher mirroring and proximity in participants who perceived the outgroup threat as a real danger, albeit the latter results were imprecisely estimated. Together, these findings help understand how sharing subtle behavioral cues influences collaborative aggregation of people under threat.
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