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Four free-to-access papers on the psychology behind collective action.
1. Efferversence studied A 2015 study of 400+ Hindu pilgrims concluded that the positive collective emotion is rooted in the sense of (i) being able to enact their collective identity and (ii) increasing the feeling of intimacy with other crowd members. (read more)
2. Coping mechanisms for collective disadvantage Backed with a pair of field and laboratory studies in 2007, researchers proposed two strategies for converting sympathisers into active protesters against collective disadvantage: if group identity is strong, trigger group anger, but if not, then best to highlight group efficacy, i.e. why joint action will better achieve their aims. (read more)
3. Many a mickle makes a muckle Don't go around saying your vote or participation doesn't count; researchers found in 2004 that the perception that other group members are willing to take collective action promotes more participation. (read more)
4. Beware of system justification and uncertainty Researchers confirmed in 2011 the hypothesis that individuals are less to take meaningful action against sources of disadvantage when they are more prone to (i) accepting the existing system as just, and (ii) feel uncertain about the outcome of joint action. (read more)
Abstract: We investigated the intensely positive emotional experiences arising from participation in a large-scale collective event. We predicted such experiences arise when those attending a collective event are (1) able to enact their valued collective identity and (2) experience close relations with other participants. In turn, we predicted both of these to be more likely when participants perceived crowd members to share a common collective identity. We investigated these predictions in a survey of pilgrims (N = 416) attending a month-long Hindu pilgrimage festival in north India. We found participants' perceptions of a shared identity amongst crowd members had an indirect effect on their positive experience at the event through (1) increasing participants' sense that they were able to enact their collective identity and (2) increasing the sense of intimacy with other crowd members. We discuss the implications of these data for how crowd emotion should be conceptualised.
Pub.: 20 Mar '15, Pinned: 22 Apr '17
Abstract: Two studies examined how the relevance of group identity influences two psychological mechanisms of collective action: Emotion- and problem-focused coping with collective disadvantage. Extending Van Zomeren, Spears, Fischer, and Leach's (2004) integrative theoretical model of coping with collective disadvantage, we predicted that when group identity is more relevant to disadvantaged group members, it increases their collective action tendencies through their feelings of group-based anger about their group's disadvantage. When group identity is less relevant and hence emotion-focused coping processes are less likely, group-efficacy beliefs become more predictive of disadvantaged group members' collective action tendencies because people focus more instrumentally on whether collective action will be effective (and benefit them) or not. A field study and a follow-up experiment both showed that the relevance of group identity facilitated emotion-focused coping and moderated problem-focused coping with collective disadvantage. We discuss these results in terms of two distinct psychological mechanisms of collective action.
Pub.: 19 Aug '07, Pinned: 22 Apr '17
Abstract: Insights from appraisal theories of emotion are used to integrate elements of theories on collective action. Three experiments with disadvantaged groups systematically manipulated procedural fairness (Study 1), emotional social support (Study 2), and instrumental social support (Study 3) to examine their effects on collective action tendencies through group-based anger and group efficacy. Results of structural equation modeling showed that procedural fairness and emotional social support affected the group-based anger pathway (reflecting emotion-focused coping), whereas instrumental social support affected the group efficacy pathway (reflecting problem-focused coping), constituting 2 distinct pathways to collective action tendencies. Analyses of the means suggest that collective action tendencies become stronger the more fellow group members "put their money where their mouth is." The authors discuss how their dual pathway model integrates and extends elements of current approaches to collective action.
Pub.: 13 Nov '04, Pinned: 22 Apr '17
Abstract: Three studies examined the hypothesis that system justification is negatively associated with collective protest against ingroup disadvantage. Effects of uncertainty salience, ingroup identification, and disruptive versus nondisruptive protest were also investigated. In Study 1, college students who were exposed to an uncertainty salience manipulation and who scored higher on system justification were less likely to protest against the governmental bailout of Wall Street. In Study 2, May Day protesters in Greece who were primed with a system-justifying stereotype exhibited less group-based anger and willingness to protest. In Study 3, members of a British teachers union who were primed with a "system-rejecting" mind-set exhibited decreased system justification and increased willingness to protest. The effect of system justification on nondisruptive protest was mediated by group-based anger. Across very different contexts, measures, and methods, the results reveal that, even among political activists, system justification plays a significant role in undermining willingness to protest.
Pub.: 14 Sep '11, Pinned: 22 Apr '17