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Department of Psychology


To explain why minority group members recognize less personal than group discrimination, research has focused on cognitive processes. While within self-categorization theory it may be argued the discrepancy is a function of a salient social self that perceptually discounts the personal self, it can also be argued that depersonalization allows for the cognitive possibility of perceiving similar amounts of personal and group discrimination. The present study suggested that, consistent with group consciousness theories, the social self may serve to both discount as well as integrate the social self, depending on the way in which the social self is defined. Using structural equation modeling, the present study found that defining the social self along social experiences was associated with lower personal/group discrimination discrepancy scores which in turn were associated with greater participation in collective action. Implications for different definitions of the social self were discussed.

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