Research has shown that collective angst (i.e., concern for a group’s future vitality) triggers ingroup protective responses. The current studies examined whether group members seek to protect their group by dissenting from collective angst-inducing group norms. We hypothesized that strong (vs. weak) identifiers holding non-normative opinions would be more willing to dissent, but only when the normative opinion elicited collective angst. In Study 1, as predicted, strongly (vs. weakly) identified Republicans who held non-normative opinions about Obamacare were more willing to dissent, but only when collective angst was high. In Study 2, we manipulated rather than measured collective angst and examined a different political issue: the deployment of American ground troops to fight terrorism overseas. We observed the same pattern of dissent detected in Study 1. This research contributes to current understandings of dissent in groups and the motivating power of collective angst.

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Keywords collective angst, collective identity, dissent, normative conflict
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Journal Group Processes and Intergroup Relations
Dupuis, D.R. (Darcy R.), Wohl, M, Packer, D.J. (Dominic J.), & Tabri, N. (2016). To dissent and protect: Stronger collective identification increases willingness to dissent when group norms evoke collective angst. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 19(5), 694–710. doi:10.1177/1368430216638535