The successful achievement of a group's goals often requires a broad base of support among members. Because group and individual interests can diverge, however, dissension is likely. We argued that reactions to such dissension on an issue that is relevant to the group's status can vary as a function of contextual goals. Whereas dissension from an ingroup member would be rejected in an intergroup context, it might be tolerated in an intragroup context. Regression analyses of women's (N=96) responses to dissension on an attitudinal issue (abortion on demand) indicated that in an intergroup context, women derogated a dissenting woman more if they had a strong gender identity and viewed the issue as gender relevant. Dissent in an intragroup context was evaluated more positively. The results provided insight into the factors involved in defining a collective identity.

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Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Department of Psychology

Matheson, K, Cole, B. (Barbara), & Majka, K. (Karen). (2003). Dissidence from within: Examining the effects of intergroup context on group members' reactions to attitudinal opposition. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39(2), 161–169. doi:10.1016/S0022-1031(02)00515-2