Identity Formation

Bishop, Bill. The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract

America may be more diverse than ever coast to coast, but the places where we live are becoming increasingly crowded with people who live, think, and vote as we do. We've built a country where we can all choose the neighborhood--and church and news show--most compatible with our lifestyle and beliefs. And we are living with the consequences of this way-of-life segregation. Our country has become so polarized, so ideologically inbred, that people don't know and can't understand those who live just a few miles away. The reason for this situation, and the dire implications for our country, is the subject of this groundbreaking work.

Brooks, Arthur C.Academia’s Rejection of Diversity.” The New York Times, 2015. Publisher's Version
Duarte, José L., Jarret T. Crawford, Charlotta Stern, Jonathan Haidt, Lee Jussim, and Philip E. Tetlock. “Political diversity will improve social psychological science.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 38 (2015): e130-142. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Psychologists have demonstrated the value of diversity – particularly diversity of viewpoints – for enhancing creativity, discovery, and problem solving. But one key type of viewpoint diversity is lacking in academic psychology in general and social psychology in particular: political diversity. This article reviews the available evidence and finds support for four claims: (1) Academic psychology once had considerable political diversity, but has lost nearly all of it in the last 50 years. (2) This lack of political diversity can undermine the validity of social psychological science via mechanisms such as the embedding of liberal values into research questions and methods, steering researchers away from important but politically unpalatable research topics, and producing conclusions that mischaracterize liberals and conservatives alike. (3) Increased political diversity would improve social psychological science by reducing the impact of bias mechanisms such as confirmation bias, and by empowering dissenting minorities to improve the quality of the majority's thinking. (4) The underrepresentation of non-liberals in social psychology is most likely due to a combination of self-selection, hostile climate, and discrimination. We close with recommendations for increasing political diversity in social psychology.

Edsall, Thomas B.How Did Politics Get So Personal?The New York Times, 2015. Publisher's Version
Homan, Astrid C., John R. Hollenbeck, Stephen E. Humphrey, Daan Van Knippenberg, Daniel R. Ilgen, and Gerben A. Van Kleef. “Facing Differences with an Open Mind: Openness to Experience, Salience of Intragroup Differences, and Performance of Diverse Work Groups.” Academy of Management Journal 51, no. 6 (2008): 1204-1222. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This study examined how the performance of diverse teams is affected by member openness to experience and the extent to which team reward structure emphasizes intragroup differences. Fifty-eight heterogeneous four-person teams engaged in an interactive task. Teams in which reward structure converged with diversity (i.e., "faultline" teams) performed more poorly than teams in which reward structure cut across differences between group members or pointed to a "superordinate identity." High openness to experience positively influenced teams in which differences were salient (i.e., faultline and "cross-categorized" teams) but not teams with a superordinate identity. This effect was mediated by information elaboration.

Iyengar, Shanto, and Sean J. Westwood. “Fear and Loathing Across Party Lines: New Evidence on Group Polarization.” American Journal of Political Science 59, no. 3 (2015): 690-707. Publisher's VersionAbstract

When defined in terms of social identity and affect toward copartisans and opposing partisans, the polarization of the American electorate has dramatically increased. We document the scope and consequences of affective polarization of partisans using implicit, explicit, and behavioral indicators. Our evidence demonstrates that hostile feelings for the opposing party are ingrained or automatic in voters' minds, and that affective polarization based on party is just as strong as polarization based on race. We further show that party cues exert powerful effects on nonpolitical judgments and behaviors. Partisans discriminate against opposing partisans, doing so to a degree that exceeds discrimination based on race. We note that the willingness of partisans to display open animus for opposing partisans can be attributed to the absence of norms governing the expression of negative sentiment and that increased partisan affect provides an incentive for elites to engage in confrontation rather than cooperation.

Kristof, Nicholas. “A Confession of Liberal Intolerance.” The New York Times, 2016. Publisher's Version
Li, Jiatao, and Donald Hambrick. “Factional Groups: A New Vantage on Demographic Faultlines, Conflict, and Disintegration in Work Teams.” Academy of Management Journal 48, no. 5 (2005): 794-813. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We develop the concept of factional groups, or those in which members are representatives from a small number of (often just two) social entities. Such groups include many merger integration teams, bilateral task forces, and joint venture teams. We extend theory about group demography by arguing that factional groups possess preexisting faultlines that require a new conception of demographic dissimilarity. We propose that large demographic faultlines between factions engender task conflict, emotional conflict, and behavioral disintegration-which in turn lead to poor performance. We tested our model using data from 71 joint venture management groups. Data gathered in two waves strongly supported our propositions.

Maloney, Mary, and Mary Zellmer-Bruhn. “Building Bridges, Windows and Cultures: Mediating Mechanisms between Team Heterogeneity and Performance in Global Teams.” Management International Review 46, no. 6 (2006): 697-720. Publisher's Version
Mccrae, Robert R.Creativity, Divergent Thinking, and Openness to Experience.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52, no. 6 (1987): 1258-1265. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Test scores of divergent thinking obtained between 1959 and 1972 were correlated with a variety of personality measures administered since 1980. In this sample of 268 men, divergent thinking was consistently associated with self-reports and ratings of openness to experience, but not with neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, or conscientiousness. Both divergent thinking and openness were also modestly correlated with Gough's (1979) empirically derived Creative Personality Scale. Several other personality variables mentioned in the literature were also examined; those that were associated with divergent thinking were also generally correlated with openness. These data suggest that creativity is particularly related to the personality domain of openness to experience.

Meyerson, Debra, Karl E. Weick, Roderick M. Kramer, and Tom R. Tyler. “Swift Trust and Temporary Groups.” In Trust in Organizations: Frontiers of Theory and Research, edited by Roderick M. Kramer, 166-195. Thousand Oaks, Calif. Sage, 1996. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Argues that the notion of swift trust is a useful concept for understanding the functioning of temporary systems, drawing on the work of Lawrence Peter Goodman & Richard Alan Goodman (1976 [see abstract 77I5236]) & other secondary literature. Temporary systems are described as contexts in which a premium is placed on making do with whatever information is available & in which swift judgments of trust are mandatory. Aspects of trust, eg, vulnerability, uncertainty, & risk, are discussed in the context of the temporary system, & a number of propositions regarding trust in these situations are proposed: (1) Smaller labor pool & more vulnerability among workers equal more rapidly developed trust. (2) Role-based interaction will lead to more rapid development of trust than person-based interaction. (3) Inconsistent behavior or blurring of roles will lead to less trust. (4) Category rather than evidence-driven information is more important in temporary systems, leading to a faster reduction of uncertainty. (5) Swift trust is more likely at moderate vs low or high levels of interdependence. The role of the contractor in temporary systems is briefly considered. It is concluded that swift trust is a pragmatic strategy for dealing with uncertainties generated by a complex system.

Murtha, Thomas P., Stefanie Ann Lenway, and Richard P. Bagozzi. “Global Mind-Sets and Cognitive Shift in a Complex Multinational Corporation.” Strategic Management Journal 19, no. 2 (1998): 97-114. Publisher's VersionAbstract

 This article investigates attitudes that underlie international strategy processes. We propose survey scales of these attitudes and describe tests that support their reliability and validity as measures of constructs--including integration, responsiveness, and coordination--that

researchers have used for many years in case analyses of international strategy and organization.

We also propose and validate scales to capture the perceived alignment with firms' international objectives of key business policies that affect individuals, including accountability for global results, career opportunity and a globally shared meaning system that informs communication and discussion about change. Our discussion of these tests offers an assessment of how changing patterns of association among the measures over time conform to expectations generated by the case-based empirical literature. We argue that these patterns document a process of organizational learning that can link managers' mind-sets with senior managers' intentions in the course of proactive international strategic change. The analysis relies on survey responses taken in 1992 and 1995 from 370 managers in 13 country affiliates and the head office of a U.S.-based diversified multinational corporation (DMNC).

Peppler, Kylie. 'Art as a Means of Learning about the Self, the Group, and Other Cultures' in New Opportunities for Interest-Driven Arts Learning in a Digital Age. New York: The Wallace Foundation, 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Arts may be scarce in many public schools, especially in disadvantaged communities. But outside school, one sees a "strikingly different landscape," according to this report. Why? Digital technologies are offering young people new ways to engage in the arts on their own time and according to their own interests. The report describes the new technologies, young people's media use and a framework for thinking about "interest-driven" arts learning. Three appendices include: (1) Communities that support interest-driven digital arts learning; (2) Apps that support interest-driven digital arts learning; and (3) Online platforms that support interest-driven digital arts learning.

Putnam, Robert D., and David E. Campbell. American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Draws on three national surveys on religion, as well as research conducted by congregations across the United States, to examine the profound impact it has had on American life and how religious attitudes have changed in recent decades

Shields, Stephanie A.Gender: An Intersectionality Perspective.” Sex Roles 59, no. 5 (2008): 301–311. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Intersectionality, the mutually constitutive relations among social identities, is a central tenet of feminist thinking and has transformed how gender is conceptualized in research. In this special issue, we focus on the intersectionality perspective in empirical research on gender. Our goal is to offer a ``best practices'' resource that provides models for when and how intersectionality can inform theory and be incorporated into empirical research on psychological questions at individual, interpersonal, and social structural levels. I briefly summarize the development of the intersectionality perspective, and then review how the realization of its promise has been diverted by preoccupation with intersectionality as a methodological challenge. I conclude with a discussion of why intersectionality is an urgent issue for researchers invested in promoting positive social change.

Swann Jr., William B. Self-Traps: The Elusive Quest for Higher Self-Esteem. W H Freeman & Co, 1996. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In this wide-ranging and strikingly original book, William Swann not only dissects the mistaken assumptions that underlie current self-esteem programmes, but also incisively analyses the nature of self-worth and the 'self-traps' that make achieving and sustaining a sense of self-esteem so difficult. Self-Traps offers a fascinating, controversial exploration of how self-esteem conflicts develop and are played out in all our relationships. It shows how the authentic achievement of self-esteem is often undermined by social norms of competence and love, and discusses what could be done to encourage and sustain feelings of self-worth in society.

Swann Jr., William B., Virginia S. Y. Kwan, Jeffrey T. Polzer, and Laurie P. Milton. “Fostering Group Identification and Creativity in Diverse Groups: The Role of Individuation and Self-Verification.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 29, no. 11 (2003): 1396-1406. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A longitudinal study examined the interplay of identity negotiation processes and diversity in small groups of master's of business administration (MBA) students. When perceivers formed relatively positive impressions of other group members, higher diversity predicted more individuation of targets. When perceivers formed relatively neutral impressions of other group members, however, higher diversity predicted less individuation of targets. Individuation at the outset of the semester predicted self-verification effects several weeks later, and self-verification, in turn, predicted group identification and creative task performance. The authors conclude that contrary to self-categorization theory, fostering individuation and self-verification in diverse groups may maximize group identification and productivity. Keywords: groups; self-verification; diversity; self-categorization

Swann Jr., William B.Self-Verification: Bringing Social Reality into Harmony with the Self.” In Psychological Perspectives on the Self, edited by Jerry M. Suls and Anthony G. Greenwald, 367-383. Hillsdale, N.J. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1983.
Turner, J.C.Social Categorization and Self-Concept: A Social Cognitive Theory of Group Behavior.” In Advances in Group Process: Theory and Research, edited by E.J. Lawler, 77-121. Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press, 1985.