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Title: Am I More Christian than Republican? Salience as a Determinant of Category Importance
Keywords: identity, belonging, saliency, context
Issue Date: 10-Nov-2017
Citation: LIM CHUN HUI (2017-11-10). Am I More Christian than Republican? Salience as a Determinant of Category Importance. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The importance of our social categories has commonly been theorized to result from trait-level factors such as private regard and a sense of belonging. This study examines whether a cognitive factor (i.e., salience) is sufficient to elicit category importance, independent of any trait-level factors. Participants were assigned to minimal groups along two dichotomous dimensions of identity (A or B and X or Y), forming four composite groups of people (AX, AY, BX, BY or II, IO, OI, OO) that could be perceived in terms of ingroup (“I”) and outgroup (“O”) memberships. To manipulate the salience of one category dimension over another, participants were required to answer more trials pertaining to the AB dimension relative to the XY dimension. Explicit evaluations of each composite group revealed participants’ preference for the ingroup along the more salient dimension over the ingroup along the less salient dimension. However, in a control condition in which both dimensions were equally salient, participants showed no preference to either group. The findings support salience as a contributory factor to category importance, and proposes that context can change the level of importance we place on our many identities.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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