In this study, we tested the theoretical validity of both Social Identity Theory (SIT) and the Bounded Generalized Reciprocity Hypothesis (BGR) for explaining in-group cooperation in real social groups. While most previous investigation on real social groups has found support for SIT, confirmatory evidence for BGR remains limited. We conducted a vignette experiment in which reciprocity was manipulated by controlling knowledge of group membership. The participants were 117 undergraduate students who were baseball fans. To control expectation of reciprocity in the experiment, we asked participants to imagine scenarios where they helped others who wore either the same baseball team T-shirts as they did or plain T-shirts. Consistent with BGR, participants tend to cooperate with in-group members when both they and their partner knew that they might be supporters of the same team. On the other hand, participants showed in-group cooperation even when only they knew their partner’s group membership. This finding coincided with SIT. These results thus further verified the theoretical validity of both SIT and BGR in real social groups.
Commitment and expectations of acceptance in relationships promote relationship-repairing behaviors in response to interpersonal rejection. The present study examined differences between these factors in the mediation process, and the moderating role of attachment orientation in the process. One hundred and seventy-eight undergraduate students participated in a questionnaire study, in which they reported their attachment orientation, rated their degrees of commitment and expectations of acceptance by a close friend, and indicated how they would feel and behave if that friend rejected them. Mediational analyses revealed that self-regard feelings partially mediated the association between commitment and relationship-repairing behaviors. Further analyses also showed that mediation effects disappeared among those with high attachment avoidance. There were only direct effects of expectations of acceptance on relationship-repairing behaviors regardless of attachment orientation. These results suggested that there are multiple pathways for promoting relationship-repairing behaviors in response to interpersonal rejection. In addition, this study discussed the implications of these findings for relationship-repairing mechanisms.
A recent controversy in the literature on protection behavior is whether individuals’ heightened risk perception boosts precautionary behavior toward disasters. We conducted a preliminary experiment (n=108) where risk perception and response efficacy were manipulated based on protection motivation theory (PMT). Contrary to the prediction of PMT, neither variable prompted actual preparedness behavior. In the main experiment (n=113), we examined the effects of two social factors (an informational variable and a relational variable) on preparedness behavior. Descriptive norms, defined as information about majority behavior, were manipulated as the informational variable. The possibility of exchanging stored food was manipulated as the relational variable. Descriptive norms influenced actual food storage behavior, but potential for food exchange did not. Participants’ attitude and intention to store food were not influenced by the two variables, suggesting that descriptive norms directly influence preparedness behaviors.
From the perspective of social identity theory, some social psychologists have suggested that heterosexual men espouse negative attitudes toward gay men as a defensive mechanism against threats to their gender self-esteem. The purpose of the present study is to examine whether this gender self-esteem defense theory of sexual prejudice applies among heterosexual men and women in Japan. Our results in principle supported the gender self-esteem defense theory for heterosexual men. For heterosexual women, however, the results tended to be contradictory to the theory. The more positive heterosexual women’s gender self-esteem was, the less negative was their attitude toward lesbians. But this link tended to disappear when they were informed that no biological differences exist between heterosexuals and homosexuals. Our findings suggest that heterosexual men and women maintain their gender self-esteem in different manners: Heterosexual men maintain positive gender self-esteem by embracing negative attitudes toward gay men, but heterosexual women do not. Heterosexual women’s gender self-esteem may be related to expressing tolerance for sexual minorities.
This article attempts to obtain a better understanding of human reconciliation processes by integrating the social psychological perspective with an evolutionary perspective. The evolutionary literature on reconciliation suggests that benefits accruing from one’s association with a partner (relationship value) and uncertainty about the partner’s intention (intentional ambiguity) are two crucial determinants of reconciliation processes. Empirical evidence confirms the importance of these two factors. First, research on forgiveness from the victim’s perspective showed that relationship value increases forgiveness, whereas intentional ambiguity (i.e., whether the perpetrator intends to exploit the victim again) decreases forgiveness. Second, research on apology perception from the victim’s perspective showed that costly apologies, as compared to no-cost apologies, reduce intentional ambiguity and thereby effectively convince the victim of the perpetrator’s benign intent. Third, research on apology-making from the perpetrator’s perspective revealed that relationship value and intentional ambiguity (i.e., whether the victim intends to continue/terminate the relationship) increases the probability of costly apology-making. These three lines of research provide support for evolutionary hypotheses about human reconciliation processes.
This micro-ethnographic research focuses on a traditional custom on Toshi Island, in Japan. When first-born sons on the island graduate from junior high school, they form a small group of neya-ko (quasi-brothers) and sleep over at the house of their neya-oya (quasi-parents) every night until they reach the age of 26. They maintain the quasi-family relationship and help each other all their lives. Why does the neya custom still continue on this island, while most similar customs have already disappeared in other parts of Japan? To answer this question, we conducted participant observations and unstructured interviews. The results suggest that the ecological environment of the island has exerted an important influence on the neya custom. In spite of recent drastic social and economic changes in the islanders’ lives, the neya custom still plays a key role in building sustainability in the community. Based on these findings, we discuss how the multi-layered environments of the island interact with this specific custom that has been fostered through the years.