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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Ana Leite

Leite, Ana C., Pinto, Isabel R. & Marques, José M. (2016). Do Ambiguous Normative Ingroup Members Increase Tolerance for Deviants? Swiss Journal of Psychology 75(1): 47-52.

Author(s) from Durham


Subjective group dynamics theory (Marques, Páez, & Abrams, 1998) proposes that deviant ingroup members who threaten the positive value of the group members’ social identity are evaluated negatively. In an experiment, we investigated whether group members evaluate deviant ingroup members less negatively when the normative member’s commitment to the ingroup is ambiguous. Participants evaluated one normative and one deviant ingroup or outgroup member. Two conditions were contrasted, in which the normative target showed high versus low commitment to the group. As predicted, the participants evaluated deviant ingroup targets more negatively and normative ingroup targets more positively than their respective outgroup counterparts – but only when the normative member’s commitment to the ingroup was unambiguous. When presented with a normative member with ambiguous commitment, the deviant ingroup member was evaluated less negatively. We discuss these results in light of subjective group dynamics theory.