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Differentiated selves can surely be good for the group, but let's get clear about why

  • Sanaz Talaifar (a1) and William B. Swann (a1)

Abstract

We applaud the goal of reconciling the self and group literatures and agree that a differentiated self may sometimes improve group outcomes. Nevertheless, greater precision regarding the underlying mechanisms is needed. Specifically, differentiated selves improve outcomes by overriding selfishness when they allow for personal regulation (being personally recognized and valued) rather than social regulation (specialization of labor).

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Gómez, Á, Brooks, M. L., Buhrmester, M. D., Vázquez, A., Jeen, J. & Swann, W. B. Jr. (2011) On the nature of identity fusion: Insights into the construct and a new measure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 100:918–33.
Swann, W. B. Jr., Buhrmester, M., Gómez, Á., Jetten, J., Bastian, B., Vázquez, A., Ariyanto, A., Besta, T. Christ, O., Cui, L., Finchilescu, G., González, R., Goto, N., Hornsey, M., Sharma, S., Susianto, H. & Zhang, A. (2014) What makes a group worth dying for? Identity fusion fosters perception of familial ties, promoting self-sacrifice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 106:912–26.
Swann, W. B. Jr., Gómez, A., Seyle, C. D., Morales, J. F. & Huici, C. (2009) Identity fusion: The interplay of personal and social identities in extreme group behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 96:9951011.
Whitehouse, H., McQuinn, B., Buhrmester, M. & Swann, W. B. Jr. (2014) Brothers in Arms: Libyan revolutionaries bond like family. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111:17783–85.

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