Self-categorization of users’ comments and ingroup influence: The moderating role of context-dependent ingroup identification
A web-based experiment (N = 184) examined whether social identity cues embedded in users’ comments elicit ingroup bias. Participants viewed a mock Yelp.com webpage that displayed information about a local business together with four users’ comments. Consistent with self-categorization theory, viewers adopted their ingroup’s comments, but only when they identified highly with their ingroup. Further, a central message that was juxtaposed with users’ comments and shaped their focus, determined the degree of ingroup identification; viewers were more likely to identify with their ingroup when the central message dealt with an outgroup-typed (vs. ingroup-typed) topic. Finally, although an outgroup-typed central message elicited stereotypical beliefs of the outgroup’s expertise, such beliefs failed to predict viewers’ attitudes, thus lending support to the ingroup identification explanation.
Allen, M. (1991). Meta-analysis comparing the persuasiveness of one-sided and two-sided messages. Western Journal of Speech Communication, 55, 390-404. https://doi.org/10.1080/10570319109374395
Barnes, R. (2015). Understanding the affective investment produced through commenting on Australian alternative journalism website New Matilda. New Media & Society, 17, 810-826. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444813511039
Brewer, M. B. (2001). Ingroup identification and intergroup conflict: When does ingroup love become outgroup hate? In R. D. Ashmore, L. Jussim., & D. Wilder (Eds.), Rutgers series on self and social identity; Vol. 3. Social Identity, intergroup conflict, and conflict reduction (pp. 17-41). New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press.
Brewer, M. B., Manzi, J. M., & Shaw, J. S. (1993). In-group identification as a function of depersonalization, distinctiveness, and status. Psychological Science, 4, 88-92. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.1993.tb00466.x
Carli, L. L. (2001). Gender and social influence. Journal of Social Issues, 57, 725-741. https://doi.org/10.1111/0022-4537.00238
Chu, S.-C., & Kamal, S. (2008). The effect of perceived blogger credibility and argument quality on message elaboration and brand attitudes. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 8(2), 26-37. https://doi.org/10.1080/15252019.2008.10722140
Crisp, R. J., Hewstone, M., & Rubin, M. (2001). Does multiple categorization reduce intergroup bias? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 76-89. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167201271007
Diehl, M. (1990). The minimal group paradigm: Theoretical explanations and empirical findings. European Review of Social Psychology, 1, 263-292. https://doi.org/10.1080/14792779108401864
Edwards, C., Edwards, A., Qing, Q., & Wahl, S. T. (2007). The influence of computer-mediated word-of-mouth communication on student perceptions of instructors and attitudes toward learning course content. Communication Education, 56, 255-277. https://doi.org/10.1080/03634520701236866
Ganster, T. (2011). You ‘like’, we ‘like’, I ‘like’? An empirical study about the impact of user comments posted on commercial Facebook profiles with particular focus on processes of social identification (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.
Hale, J. L., Mongeau, P. A., & Thomas, R. M. (1991). Cognitive processing of one- and two-sided persuasive messages. Western Journal of Speech Communication, 55, 380-389. https://doi.org/10.1080/10570319109374394
Hayes A. F. (2017). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach (2nd ed.). New York, NY, US: The Guilford Press.
Holbrook, M. B., & Batra, R. (1987). Assessing the role of emotions as mediators of consumer responses to advertising. Journal of Consumer Research, 14, 404-420. https://doi.org/10.1086/209123
Hollingshead, A, B., & Fraidin, S. N. (2003). Gender stereotypes and assumptions about expertise in transactive memory. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 355-363. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-1031(02)00549-8
Horwitz, S., & Kovács, B. (2018). Reviewer social class influences responses to online evaluations of an organization. Plos One, 13(10), e0205721. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205721
Leach, C. W., van Zomeren, M., Zebel, S., Vliek, M. L. W., Pennekamp, S. F., Doosje, B., . . . Spears, R. (2008). Group-level self-definition and self-investment: A hierarchical (multicomponent) model of in-group identification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 144-165. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.206
Lee, E.-J. (2007). Categorical person perception in computer-mediated communication: Effects of character representation and knowledge bias on sex inference and informational social influence. Media Psychology, 9, 309-329. https://doi.org/10.1080/15213260701286007
Lee, J., Park, D.-H., & Han, I. (2008). The effect of negative online consumer reviews on product attitude: An information processing view. Electronic Commerce Research and Application, 7, 341-352. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.elerap.2007.05.004
Macrae, C. N., Bodenhausen, G. V., & Milne, A. B. (1995). The dissection of selection in person perception: Inhibitory processes in social stereotyping. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 397-407. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.117
Mather, M., Johnson, M. K., & De Leonardis, D. M. (1999). Stereotype reliance in source monitoring: Age differences and neuropsychological test correlates. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 16, 437-458. https://doi.org/10.1080/026432999380870
Mitchell, A. A., & Olson, J. C. (1981). Are product attribute beliefs the only mediator of advertising effects on brand attitude? Journal of Marketing Research, 18, 318-332. https://doi.org/10.1177/002224378101800306
Mullen, B. (1991). Group composition, salience, and cognitive representations: The phenomenology of being in a group. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 27, 297-323. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1031(91)90028-5
Ohanian, R. (1990). Construction and validation of a scale to measure celebrity endorsers’ perceived expertise, trustworthiness, and attractiveness. Journal of Advertising, 19(3), 39-52. https://doi.org/10.1080/00913367.1990.10673191
Park, D.-H., Lee, J., & Han, I. (2007). The effect of on-line consumer reviews on consumer purchasing intention: The moderating role of involvement. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 11(4), 125-148. https://doi.org/10.2753/JEC1086-4415110405
Racherla, P., & Friske, W. (2012). Perceived ‘usefulness’ of online consumer reviews: An exploratory investigation across three services categories. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 11, 548-559. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.elerap.2012.06.003
Rubin, M., & Hewstone, M. (1998). Social identity theory’s self-esteem hypothesis: A review and some suggestions for clarification. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2, 40-62. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327957pspr0201_3
Spottswood, E. L., Walther, J. B., Holmstrom, A. R., & Ellison, N. E. (2013). Person-centered emotional support and gender attributions in computer-mediated communication. Human Communication Research, 39, 295-316. doi:10.1111/hcre.12006
Stangor, C., Lynch, L., Duan, C., & Glas, B. (1992). Categorization of individuals on the basis of multiple social features. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 207-218. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.168
Turner, J. C. (1985). Social categorization and the self-concept: A social cognitive theory of group behavior. In E. J. Lawler (Ed.), Advances in group processes: Theory and research (Vol. 2, pp. 77-122). Greenwich, CT, US: JAI Press Inc.
Turner, J. C. (1991). Social influence. Pacific Grove, CA, US: Brooks/Cole.
Turner, J. C., & Oakes, P. J. (1989). Self-categorization theory and social influence. In P. B. Paulus (Ed.), Psychology of group influence (pp. 233-275). Hillsdale, NJ, US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
van Deursen, A. J. A. M., & van Dijk, J. A. G. M. (2014). The digital divide shifts to differences in usage. New Media & Society, 16, 507-526. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444813487959
van Rijswijk, W., & Ellemers, N. (2002). Context effects on the application of stereotype content to multiple categorizable targets. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 90-101. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167202281008
Walther, J. B., & Jang, J.-w. (2012). Communication processes in participatory websites. Journal of Computer-mediated Communication, 18, 2-15. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2012.01592.x
Willemsen, L. M., Neijens, P. C., & Bronner, F. (2012). The ironic effect of source identification on the perceived credibility of online product reviewers. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 18, 16-31. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2012.01598.x
Winter, S., & Krämer, N. C. (2012). Selecting science information in web 2.0: How source cues, message sidedness, and need for cognition influence users’ exposure to blog posts. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 18, 80-96. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2012.01596.x