Uniform and Complementary Social Interaction: Distinct Pathways to Solidarity

Koudenburg, N., Postmes, T., Gordijn, E. H. & van Mourik Broekman, A., 5-Jun-2015, In : PLoS ONE. 10, 6, 29 p., e0129061.

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We examine how different forms of co-action give rise to feelings of solidarity. We propose that (a) coordinated action elicits a sense of solidarity, and (b) the process through which such solidarity emerges differs for different forms of co-action. We suggest that whether solidarity within groups emerges from uniform action (e.g. synchronizing, as when people speak in unison) or from more complementary forms of action (e.g. alternating, when speaking in turns) has important consequences for the emergent position of individuals within the group. Uniform action relies on commonality, leaving little scope for individuality. In complementary action each individual makes a distinctive contribution to the group, thereby increasing a sense of personal value to the group, which should contribute to the emergence of solidarity. The predictions receive support from five studies, in which we study groups in laboratory and field settings. Results show that both complementary and uniform co-action increase a sense of solidarity compared to control conditions. However, in the complementary action condition, but not in the uniform action (or synchrony) condition, the effect on feelings of solidarity is mediated by a sense of personal value to the group.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0129061
Number of pages29
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 5-Jun-2015



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