Many of the world’s biggest problems are being tackled through the formation of new groups yet very little research has directly observed the processes by which new groups form to respond to social problems. The current paper draws on seminal research by Lewin (1947) to advance a perspective as to how such identities form through processes of small group interaction. Multi-level structural equation modelling involving 58 small group discussions (with N = 234) demonstrates that focused group discussion can boost the commitment to take collective action, beliefs in the efficacy of that action and members’ social identification with other supporters of the cause. The results are consistent with the new commitment to action flowing from emergent social identities.
- Social identity formation
- Small group interaction
- Collective action
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- School of Psychology and Neuroscience - Senior Lecturer
- Centre for Research into Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
- Centre for Higher Education Research - Co-Director