The Japanese Journal of Psychology
Online ISSN : 1884-1082
Print ISSN : 0021-5236
ISSN-L : 0021-5236
When “self-effacement” disappears
Narratives of personal and group successes depending on an ingroup relationship
Yukiko MuramotoSusumu Yamaguchi
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2003 Volume 74 Issue 3 Pages 253-262


The distinction between ingroup and outgroup has played an important role in group process research. However, much less attention has been paid to variations among ingroups. In this study, we attempted to demonstrate that different ingroups could have different psychological impacts on self and group serving or effacing behavior. In our social survey, Japanese respondents evaluated the importance and psychological meaning of two typical ingroups their family and another social group in which they spent most of their time. They were also asked about their behavior in the presence of ingroup members from each group. Results indicated that people showed a self-effacing tendency in the social group, whereas they showed a self-serving tendency in their family. At the same time, they showed a group-serving tendency when they talked about the social group, but they showed the opposite, i.e., a group-effacing tendency, when they talked about their family. These differences are explained in terms of relationships with ingroup members.

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