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Psychol Bull. 2003 Sep;129(5):698-722.

Beyond the group mind: a quantitative review of the interindividual-intergroup discontinuity effect.

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Centre for Research on Self and Identity, Department of Psychology, University of Southampton, England.


This quantitative review of 130 comparisons of interindividual and intergroup interactions in the context of mixed-motive situations reveals that intergroup interactions are generally more competitive than interindividual interactions. The authors identify 4 moderators of this interindividual-intergroup discontinuity effect, each based on the theoretical perspective that the discontinuity effect flows from greater fear and greed in intergroup relative to interindividual interactions. Results reveal that each moderator shares a unique association with the magnitude of the discontinuity effect. The discontinuity effect is larger when (a) participants interact with an opponent whose behavior is unconstrained by the experimenter or constrained by the experimenter to be cooperative rather than constrained by the experimenter to be reciprocal, (b) group members make a group decision rather than individual decisions, (c) unconstrained communication between participants is present rather than absent, and (d) conflict of interest is severe rather than mild.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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