gov.nsf.fastlane.mvc-1 by dkkauwe

VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 2

									Proposed Plan of Research

Kauwe,D

2004-07129

My current research interests focus on the psychological interactions between individuals and their social environment. As part of my graduate studies in social psychology, I am presently exploring social projection as an example of egocentric reasoning in uncertain situations. Social projection occurs when individuals perceive in others similar thoughts, feelings, and behavior; and these processes may in turn aid in social prediction and inference (Dawes, 1989; Hoch, 1987; Krueger, 1998). Research has found that participants’ predictive accuracy is linked with social projection such that social projection can lead to improved accuracy (Hoch, 1987). The mathematical basis of social projection has been examined by Dawes (1989), and he has proved that self-information can inductively enhance accuracy. This occurs when individuals are themselves representative of the target, e.g. members of a certain group can project accurately to other members of that group or similar groups. Thus it seems that in uncertain situations, social projection allows individuals to use selfinformation to infer information about others, and this process is moderated by the nature of the relationship between the individual and the target. One of the most robust findings in social projection is that the strength of projection is modified by social categorization. Research with natural and artificial groups has clearly demonstrated that individuals project more strongly to their ingroup than to their outgroup (Clement and Krueger, 2002). Previous research at Brown has indicated that this ingroupoutgroup asymmetry is further influenced by the majority or minority status of the group (Robbins, 2003). Members of minority groups project strongly to their ingroup, as would be expected, but majority members project more weakly to both ingroup and outgroup (Robbins, 2003). The latter finding is surprising, given that MGP work suggests that individuals will always strongly project to their ingroup (Clement and Krueger, 2002). One hypothesis is that differences in the perceived homogeneity of the influence the tendency to project. The second hypothesis is that the level of group identification may influence tendency to project. Majority members tend to identify less with their ingroup, and thus project less, while members of the minority identify more with their ingroup, and thus project more. Homogeneity Effects In the case of projection differences between minority and majority members, minority members may be more inclined to project to their ingroup because they perceive group members to be more similar to one another, i.e. a perception homogeneity. Conversely, the majority group may seem heterogeneous to majority members, and so they are less inclined to project. My hypothesis is that perceptions of homogeneity are positively correlated with the strength of projection, and that perceptions of homogeneity may not necessarily vary as a function of majority or minority group status. The impact of perceived homogeneity may be best examined through cross-cultural studies. For example, Japan offers a unique setting for the study of projection because Japanese society is highly homogenous with uniformity of language, physical appearance, and cultural history. If the homogeneity of the group is a factor in determining strength of identity, it may be possible that minority or majority status is irrelevant compared to perception of homogeneity. Our knowledge of social projection would be advanced by determining whether Japanese participants strongly project to their group despite its majority status because of group homogeneity Identification Effects Preliminary research at Brown has found a connection between the strength of ethnic identity and the strength of projection (Robbins, 2003). This research employed the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM, Phinney, 1992), a measure that I have also used in the past. The MEIM is composed of three subscales: sense of affirmation and belonging, sense of ethnic identity achievement, and sense of ethnic involvement. I am most interested in using the scale to explore the relationships between affirmation and belonging and ethnic involvement to social projection. My hypothesis is that when individuals have a greater sense of group affirmation and belonging, they will project more. At the same time, when individuals are more involved in the group, their self-information is more reflective of the group, which may result in higher predictive accuracy. I consider these domains to be important because they capture group influences that extend beyond ethnic membership. A sense of affirmation and belonging may be crucial in determining whether an individual feels connected to the group, thus this sense of connection may mediate projection. Likewise, a high level of involvement in the group may correspond to a more accurate perception of the group. Although current research is focused on ethnic identification, many other natural groups could also be considered such as sports teams and work teams. Furthermore, my past research in ethnic identity will be of assistance in studying the connections between ethnic identification and social projection.

1, Daniel Kauwe

Proposed Plan of Research

Kauwe,D

2004-07129

Psychological Well-being and Social Projection Finally, I am also interested in the connections between psychological well-being and social projection. Research has indicated that there may be a significant connection between psychological well-being and the tendency to project. Some studies have documented a tendency to socially project less because of negative feedback (e.g.. Sherman, Presson, and Chassin, 1984). An ego-protective mechanism has been suggested in these instances, in that individuals might project negative attributes to a group in order to diffuse the stigma of the negative feedback (Sherman et al., 1984). However, other studies have indicated a difference in projection depending on an initial high or low emotional state (e.g.. Campbell, 1986). In these studies it has been suggested that the emotional state influences the tendency to project, e.g. depressed individuals are less likely to project then less depressed individuals. Agostinell, Sherman, Presson, and Chassin (1992) studied the interactive effects of social projection, feedback (negative or positive), and depressive state, and their work suggests that both of these theories may be correct. However, Agostinell et al. (1992), did not include pretest-posttest measures of self-esteem, thus the ego-protective theory has not been fully evaluated. That is, projection may vary in strength depending on negative or positive feedback, and that tendency to project will also vary depending on prior emotional state, but without a pretest-posttest measure of self-esteem, it is problematic to conclude that the social projection bolsters or protects self-esteem. In addition, there is also a need to investigate the connection between group identity, social projection, and psychological well-being. As discussed above, research has yet to elucidate the relationship between social projection and psychological well-being. Greater clarity might be found in research that addresses group identity, social projection, and psychological well-being. For example, ethnic and racial identity literature has suggested that high, positive identification with one’s ethnic group is important for a positive, general sense of self. Therefore, it may be that in cases of threat (e.g. negative feedback), group identity moderates the tendency to socially project, with group identity acting to support self-esteem. My hypothesis is that in cases of threat, high identification with a particular group will correspond with a increased tendency to project to the ingroup, and these will be linked with higher measures of psychological well-being (like self-esteem). Our knowledge of social projection would be enhanced by a study that measures all three of these variables simultaneously. Agostinelli, G., Sherman, S.J., Presson, C.C., and Chassin, L. (1992) Self-Protection and SelfEnhancement Biases in Estimates of Population Prevalence. P.S.P.B. 18 631-642 Campbell, J.D. (1986) Similarity and Uniqueness: The Effects of Attribute Type, Relevance, and Individual Differences in Self-Esteem and Depression. J.P.S.P. 50 281-294 Clement, R. W., and Krueger, J. (2002) Social Categorization Moderates Social Projection. J. E. S. P. 38 219-231 Dawes, R.M (1989) Statistical Criteria for Establishing a Truly False Consensus Effect. J.E.S.P. 25 1-17. Hoch, S.J. (1987) Perceived Consensus and Predictive Accuracy: The Pros and Cons of Projection. J. P. S. P. 53 221-234 Krueger, J. (1998) On the Perception of Social Consensus. Experimental Psychology 163-240. San Diego, Academic Press In M.P. Zanna (Ed) Advances in

Phinney, J. S. (1992) The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure: A New Scale for Use With Diverse Groups. J. A. R., 7 156-176 Robbins, J. M. (2003) Social Projection and Group Status: The Effects of Being in a Natural Majority of Minority and Attribute Type. Unpublished thesis, Brown University. Sherman, S.J., Presson, C.C., and Chassin, L. (1984) Mechanisms Underlying the False Consensus Effect: The Special Role of Threats to the Self. P.S.P.B. 10 127-138

2, Daniel Kauwe


								
To top