Document Type



Master of Science



First Adviser

Packer, Dominic J.

Other advisers/committee members

Gill, Michael J.; Napper, Lucy E.


Group members must be attuned to loyalty information when deciding with whom to cooperate to pursue collective goals. We present three studies which examined the effect of loyalty information on impression formation and evaluative processes across multiple intergroup and intragroup contexts. In Study 1, undergraduate students were more ambivalent when categorizing positive traits (i.e., INTELLIGENCE) in a disloyal vs. loyal ingroup member. Importantly, ambivalence was not sensitive to outgroup loyalty, nor was it sensitive to warmth information, suggesting that loyalty may uniquely affect how peripheral traits are perceived during intergroup competition. Study 2 varied intergroup competition and the preference and sacrifice components of loyalty (Packer & Ungson, 2015) in a fictional promotion scenario. Regardless of competition, an online sample rated ingroup members more favorably when they demonstrated high (vs. low) preference and sacrifice. However, sacrifice was rewarded less when intergroup competition was absent (vs. present). In Study 3, we varied sacrifice and conformity in a fictional hiring scenario involving a low-status (entry-level) or high-status (CEO) applicant. Targets were rated more positively and awarded a higher salary when they demonstrated high (vs.) low sacrifice and conformity. Furthermore, there was an interaction such that applicants low on one dimension of loyalty were able to "recover" salary losses by demonstrating the other form of loyalty. The present studies speak to the importance of loyalty information when perceiving and evaluating ingroup members across multiple intergroup and intragroup contexts. Furthermore, they demonstrate that certain aspects of loyalty are sensitive to contextual demands. Implications and directions for future group processes research are also discussed.

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