In small we trust: lay theories about small and large groups

La Macchia, Stephen T., Louis, Winnifred R., Hornsey, Matthew J. and Leonardelli, Geoffrey J. 2016, In small we trust: lay theories about small and large groups, Personality and social psychology bulletin, vol. 42, no. 10, pp. 1321-1334, doi: 10.1177/0146167216657360.

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Title In small we trust: lay theories about small and large groups
Author(s) La Macchia, Stephen T.ORCID iD for La Macchia, Stephen T.
Louis, Winnifred R.
Hornsey, Matthew J.
Leonardelli, Geoffrey J.
Journal name Personality and social psychology bulletin
Volume number 42
Issue number 10
Start page 1321
End page 1334
Total pages 14
Publisher Sage Publications
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 0146-1672
Keyword(s) group size
lay theories
group perception
Summary Day-to-day interactions often involve individuals interacting with groups, but little is known about the criteria that people use to decide which groups to approach or trust and which to avoid or distrust. Seven studies provide evidence for a “small = trustworthy” heuristic, such that people perceive numerically smaller groups as more benevolent in their character and intentions. As a result of this, individuals in trust-sensitive contexts are more likely to approach and engage with groups that are relatively small than those that are relatively large. We provide evidence for this notion across a range of contexts, including analyses of social categories (Studies 1 and 2), ad hoc collections of individuals (Study 3), interacting panels (Studies 4-6), and generalized, abstract judgments (Study 7). Findings suggest the existence of a general lay theory of group size that may influence how individuals interact with groups.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/0146167216657360
Field of Research 1701 Psychology
1702 Cognitive Science
Socio Economic Objective 0 Not Applicable
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Society for Personality and Social Psychology
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
Department of Marketing
2018 ERA Submission
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