Effects of Thought Salience on Feelings of Uniqueness and Inclusiveness
Advisor:Smith, Jessi L.
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Honors Theses;2005
The present study examined two opposing needs involved in social behavior: standing out and fitting in. The American culture values individualism, yet at the same time, there exists in the United States the norm that women are more communal than men. Using an experimental paradigm developed from the theoretical perspectives of terror management and optimal distinctiveness, female college students thought about either their self or their gender group under a mortality salience or neutral condition. Participants were then given a gender identification measure, rated their preference for unique and inclusive abstract figures, and asked to choose between a unique and an inclusive pen. Following mortality salience, individuals primed with gender identified more with their gender group, preferred inclusive abstract figures, and were more likely to take the inclusive pen compared to the group with the self prime suggesting that maintaining the balance between standing out and fitting in can be tipped under mortality salience conditions, the direction of which depending on whether the individual is thinking of the group or the self.
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