My group, our beliefs: Compensating for threats to individual control through the collective
University of Kansas
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Compensatory control theory proposes that people can compensate for a loss of personal control through endorsement of external sources of structure like ideologies. Social identity and self-categorization theories provide evidence that ideologies, as group-based beliefs, are endorsed more strongly by highly identified group members compared to those lower in identification. The present studies integrate these perspectives in order to investigate the use of ideology as a source of compensation. In all three studies a group-based control threat (vs. control boost) was employed to manipulate the perceived personal control of women participants. Study 1 (N = 151) investigated the potential interaction of threat and identification on the endorsement of gender egalitarianism and benevolent sexism. Study 2 (N = 161) investigated the degree to which identification and threat interacted to predict perceptions of order and structure for a gender-equal society, and whether these perceptions affect support for gender egalitarianism (a moderated-mediation model was tested). Study 3 (N = 190) investigated the degree to which identification and threat interacted to predict perceived personal control following a group-based threat to personal control, and the indirect effect of threat on perceived control through the endorsement of gender egalitarianism (a moderated-mediation model was tested). Across all 3 studies results revealed significant interactions between gender identification and a group-based threat to control on ideology endorsement, perceived structure of social relations, and perceived personal control. The integration of these theoretical perspectives on control threat, identification, and ideology is proposed as a more specific account of control compensation.
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- Psychology Dissertations and Theses 
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