Lost in the Crowd: Entitative Group Membership Reduces Mind Attribution

Consciousness and Cognition 22 (2013) 1195-1205

Boston U. School of Management Research Paper No. 2516530

11 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2014

See all articles by Carey Morewedge

Carey Morewedge

Boston University, Questrom School of Business

Jesse Chandler

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Robert Smith

Ohio State University (OSU) - Fisher College of Business

Norbert Schwarz

University of Southern California - Department of Psychology

Jonathan Schooler

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

This research examined how and why group membership diminishes the attribution of mind to individuals. We found that mind attribution was inversely related to the size of the group to which an individual belonged (Experiment 1). Mind attribution was affected by group membership rather than the total number of entities perceived at once (Experiment 2). Moreover, mind attribution to an individual varied with the perception that the individual was a group member. Participants attributed more mind to an individual that appeared distinct or distant from other group members than to an individual that was perceived to be similar or proximal to a cohesive group (Experiments 3 and 4). This effect occurred for both human and nonhuman targets, and was driven by the perception of the target as an entitative group member rather than by the knowledge that the target was an entitative group member (Experiment 5).

Keywords: Mind perception, attribution, group membership, entitativity, similarity, proximity, person perception, social cognition

Suggested Citation

Morewedge, Carey and Chandler, Jesse and Smith, Robert and Schwarz, Norbert and Schooler, Jonathan, Lost in the Crowd: Entitative Group Membership Reduces Mind Attribution (2013). Consciousness and Cognition 22 (2013) 1195-1205; Boston U. School of Management Research Paper No. 2516530. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2516530

Carey Morewedge (Contact Author)

Boston University, Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Ave
614, Marketing Department
Boston, MA 02215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://careymorewedge.com

Jesse Chandler

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Robert Smith

Ohio State University (OSU) - Fisher College of Business ( email )

2100 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1144
United States

Norbert Schwarz

University of Southern California - Department of Psychology ( email )

3620 S. McClintock Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061
United States

Jonathan Schooler

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) ( email )

Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States

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