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Psykhe (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-2228

Resumen

ESTRADA, Claudia  y  YZERBYT, Vincent. The Effect of Essentialist Beliefs on Intra-Group Consensus Strategies. Psykhe [online]. 2017, vol.26, n.1, pp.1-15. ISSN 0718-2228.  http://dx.doi.org/10.7764/psykhe.26.1.664.

This study explored the effect of essentialist beliefs on the consensus process within a group. Essentialism is the belief in the existence of an essence that underlies a social category (Medin, 1989). Chilean (N = 164) and Belgian (N = 45) university students, selected through accidental sampling, participated in experiments on the search for consensus. Both showed equivalent group polarization between the experimental and control conditions. Experiment 1, which manipulated essentialism and took place in discussion groups, revealed that participants in the essentialist condition develop a different strategy to reach consensus. This strategy is that consensus was achieved by looking for the group position closest to each of the initial individual positions. These results are confirmed in Experiment 2, which was individually conducted in virtual groups. It is concluded that the perception of belonging to an essentialist group accentuates the similarity among its members and increases the perception of self-representativity of such groups, thus influencing intra-group interaction processes.

Palabras clave : essentialism; group polarization; in-group relations; consensus; experiment.

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