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foundational concept of intergroup sensitivity

In Hornsey et al. the theoretical context is based on the foundational concept of intergroup sensitivity effect (ISE). ISE is a phenomenon where group members have the tendency to be more resistant to criticisms of their own group when the criticism are made by newcomers rather than old-timers. ISE is mediated by how group members perceives the attachment of the critics to their group identity. The main research question is whether newcomers’ criticisms or recommendations for change are less influential than those of old-timers, and if so, why? Three experiments were conducted to measure the amount of resistance the people have toward old-timers and newcomers based on their criticisms. Resistance are measured in terms of negativity and agreement. Negativity is the extent to which criticisms can cause negative thoughts and feelings towards the people who are being criticized. Agreement is the extent to which the people are ready to accept the criticisms or recommendations they received. The researchers predicted that newcomers would arouse more resistance than old-timers, they moderated ISE to predict how group members respond to group-directed criticisms and recommendations from newcomers and old-timers.
In experiment one, participants in an undergraduate psychology course are exposed to hypothetical criticisms of their workplaces from either newcomers or old-timers and evaluate the criticisms. They were given the age (39), the amount of time and experience, a brief description, and hypothetical criticisms of the speaker. Finally, the participants were asked to answer questions on a 7 point scale that measures their perceived experience and perceived identity attachment of the speaker to their workplace. The result indicated that the participants viewed old-timers as more experienced and more attached to his or her identity. Both experience and identity attachment are inversely related to negativity which means as both factors go down resistance go up. At the same time, old-timer caused less resistance or negativity than newcomers when making similar criticisms. The implication of the findings illustrated that ISE is a good predictor of resistance because the newcomers were seen by the participants as less attached to their workplace identity. As a result promoted more resistance and less influence in their work group.
In experiment two, participants are allied health professionals (AHPs) are exposed to what as they perceived as criticisms to their professions. First they received what they thought was an extract from an interview with someone either an old-timer, a newcomer and or outgroup member (nurse). They were given the age, the amount of time and experience, a brief description, and hypothetical criticisms of the speaker like experiment one. Finally, the participants were asked to answer questions on a 7 point scale that measures their perceived experience perceived identity attachment and with the new addition to perceived constructiveness of the speaker to their professions.


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