Self-stereotyping and self-anchoring affect social identification: Self-esteem as a moderator

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Lei Yan
Wan-Yi Chen
Zhou Xiang
Jiang-Hong Zhou
Lin-Chuan Yang
Yan-Hong Zhang
Cite this article:  Yan, L., Chen, W., Xiang, Z., Zhou, J., Yang, L., & Zhang, Y. (2022). Self-stereotyping and self-anchoring affect social identification: Self-esteem as a moderator. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 50(1), e10821.


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Self-stereotyping and self-anchoring are two important cognitive pathways that facilitate individuals’ social identification. We applied the integrative model of social identification to examine the effects of these cognitive pathways on social identification of 325 Chinese undergraduate students, and further explored whether self-esteem as an individual factor plays a moderating role in this relationship. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: self-stereotyping, self-anchoring, and control. We manipulated self-anchoring and self-stereotyping via mindset priming and then measured self-esteem and social identification. Results show that the level of in-group identification was higher in the self-stereotyping and self-anchoring groups than in the control group. Furthermore, the moderation effects analyses revealed that in the condition of high self-esteem, there was no significant difference in the level of in-group identification between the self-anchoring and self-stereotyping groups. However, in the condition of low self-esteem, the in-group identification of the self-stereotyping group was higher than that of the self-anchoring group. This study provides the first empirical evidence that self-esteem could moderate the effects of cognitive pathways on social identification, and provides evidence for the role of social identification cognitive pathways in a non-Western sample.

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