Social loafing and self-beliefs: People's collective effort depends on the extent to which they distinguish themselves as better than others

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Emmanuelle Charbonnier
Pascal Huguet
Markus Brauer
Jean-Marc Monteil
Cite this article:  Charbonnier, E., Huguet, P., Brauer, M., & Monteil, J. (1998). Social loafing and self-beliefs: People's collective effort depends on the extent to which they distinguish themselves as better than others. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 26(4), 329-340.


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We tested whether the belief that one is better than others on performance aspects of the self moderates social loafing, or the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually. French students performed an easy task either individually or collectively. They were then asked to rate how they individuate themselves from others on personal abilities within various domains of social life. The loafing effect was especially strong in participants who perceived themselves as better than others, suggesting that self-beliefs related to one’s feeling of uniqueness is a significant component of social loafing. This finding is discussed from the perspective of Karau and Williams’ (1993) collective effort model.


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