Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-dnltx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-16T22:39:46.036Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Differentiating selves facilitates group outcomes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 October 2016

Sarah E. Ainsworth
Department of Psychology, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL 32224.
Roy F. Baumeister
Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306. baumeister@psy.fsu.edu
Kathleen D. Vohs
Department of Marketing, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455. vohsx005@umn.edu


The target article proposed that differentiation of selves is a crucial moderator of group outcomes, such that differentiation of selves contributes to beneficial outcomes of groups while limiting undesirable outcomes. In this response, we aim to complement the target article by refining and expanding several aspects of the theory. We address our conceptualization of optimal group functioning, clarify the term differentiation of selves, comment on the two-step nature of our model, offer theoretical connections and extensions, and discuss applications and opportunities for future research.

Author's Response
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Baumeister, R. F. (2005) The cultural animal: Human nature, meaning, and social life. Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baumeister, R. F. (2011) The unity of self at the interface of the animal body and the cultural system. Psychological Studies 56:511. doi: 10.1007/s12646-011-0062-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blanton, H., & Christie, C. (2003) Deviance regulation: A theory of action and identity. Review of General Psychology 7:115–49. doi: 10.1037/1089-2680.7.2.115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boyd, R. & Richerson, P. J. (1985) Culture and the evolutionary process. University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Forsyth, D. R. (2014) Group dynamics. Wadsworth/Cengage.Google Scholar
Halevy, N., Chou, E. Y. & Galinsky, A. D. (2011) A functional model of hierarchy: Why, how, and when vertical differentiation enhances group performance. Organizational Psychology Review 1(1):3252. doi: 10.1177/2041386610380991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Halevy, N., Chou, E. Y., Galinsky, A. D. & Murnighan, J. K. (2012b) When hierarchy wins: Evidence from the National Basketball Association. Social Psychological and Personality Science 3(4):398406. doi: 10.1177/1948550611424225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Henrich, J., Heine, S. J. & Norenzayan, A. (2010a) Most people are not WEIRD. Nature 466:29–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hornsey, M. J. & Hogg, M. A. (2000) Assimilation and diversity: An integrative model of subgroup relations. Personality and Social Psychology Review 4:143–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kozlowski, S. W. J. & Bell, B. S. (2013) Work groups and teams in organizations: Review update. In Handbook of psychology: Vol. 12. Industrial and organizational psychology, second edition, ed. Schmitt, N. & Highhouse, S., pp. 412–69. Wiley.Google Scholar
Lerner, J. S. & Tetlock, P. E. (2003) Bridging individual, interpersonal, and institutional approaches to judgment and decision making: The impact of accountability on cognitive bias. In: Emerging perspectives on judgment and decision research, ed. Lerner, J. S. & Tetlock, P. E., pp. 431–57. Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McGrath, J. E. (1984) Groups: Interaction and performance. Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
Mead, G. H. (1934) Mind, self, & society. University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Morris, D. R. (1965) The washing of the spears: The rise and fall of the Zulu nation. Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
Osborn, K. A., Irwin, B. C., Skogsberg, N. J. & Feltz, D. L. (2012) The Köhler effect: Motivation gains and losses in real sports groups. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology 1:242–53. doi: 10.1037/a0026887.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simpson, B., Willer, R. & Ridgeway, C. L. (2012) Status hierarchies and the organization of collective action. Sociological Theory 30(3):149–66. doi: 10.1177/0735275112457912.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steiner, I. D. (1972) Group process and productivity. Academic Press.Google Scholar
Suddendorf, T. (2013) The gap: The science of what separates us from other animals. Basic Books/Perseus.Google Scholar
Tetlock, P. E., Skitka, L. & Boettger, R. (1989) Social and cognitive strategies for coping with accountability: Conformity, complexity, and bolstering. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57:632–40. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.57.4.632.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tuckman, B. (1965) Developmental sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin 63:384–99. doi: 10.1037/h0022100.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed