When subgroups secede: extending and refining the social psychological model of schisms in groups

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    This article is about a field study (N = 1,080) concerning the secession of a subgroup from the Church of England, and it is aimed at extending and refining the existing social psychological model of schisms in groups. It was found that the first step toward a schism is the belief that the group identity has been subverted. This belief will prompt negative emotions (i.e., dejection and agitation) and decrease both group identification and perceived group entitativity (i.e., cohesion, oneness). In turn, low group entitativity will reduce the level of group identification. Finally, low group identification and high negative emotions will increase schismatic intentions. It is also demonstrated that the negative impact of group identification, and the positive impact of negative emotions, on schismatic intentions is moderated by the perceived ability to voice dissent (i.e., the greater the perceived voice, the weaker the impact).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1074-1086
    Number of pages13
    JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005



    • Schism
    • Entitativity
    • Social groups
    • Identity subversion
    • Social identity
    • Group continuity

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