SAGE Journal Articles

Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.

Journal Article 8.1: Leonardelli, G. J., & Loyd, D. L. (2016). Optimal distinctiveness signals membership trustPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42, 843–854.


Abstract: According to optimal distinctiveness theory, sufficiently small minority groups are associated with greater membership trust, even among members otherwise unknown, because the groups are seen as optimally distinctive. This article elaborates on the prediction’s motivational and cognitive processes and tests whether sufficiently small minorities (defined by relative size; for example, 20%) are associated with greater membership trust relative to mere minorities (45%), and whether such trust is a function of optimal distinctiveness. Two experiments, examining observers’ perceptions of minority and majority groups and using minimal groups and (in Experiment 2) a trust game, revealed greater membership trust in minorities than majorities. In Experiment 2, participants also preferred joining minorities over more powerful majorities. Both effects occurred only when minorities were 20% rather than 45%. In both studies, perceptions of optimal distinctiveness mediated effects. Discussion focuses on the value of relative size and optimal distinctiveness, and when membership trust manifests.

Journal Article 8.2: Hertz, N., & Wiese, E. (2017). Social facilitation with non-human agents: Possible or not? Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 61, 222–225.


Abstract: As interactions with non-human agents increase, it is important to understand and predict the consequences of human interactions with them. Social facilitation has a longstanding history within the realm of social psychology and is characterized by the presence of other humans having a beneficial effect on performance on easy tasks and inhibiting performance on difficult tasks. While social facilitation has been shown across task types and experimental conditions with human agents, very little research has examined whether this effect can also be induced by non-human agents and, if so, to what degree the level of humanness and embodiment of those agents influences that effect. In the current experiment, we apply a common social facilitation task (i.e., numerical distance judgments) to investigate to what extent the presence of agents of varying degrees of humanness benefits task performance. Results show a significant difference in performance between easy and difficult task conditions, but show no significant improvement in task performance in the social presence conditions compared to performing the task alone. This suggests that the presence of others did not have a positive effect on performance, at least not when social presence was manipulated via still images. Implications of this finding for future studies, as well as for human-robot interaction are discussed

Journal Article 8.3: Tindale, R. S., & Kameda, T. (2017). Group decision-making from an evolutionary/adaptationist perspective. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 20, 669–680.


Abstract: Over the 20 years that Group Processes & Intergroup Relations has been in existence, evolutionary theory has begun to play a larger role in our understanding of human social behavior. Theory and research on group decision-making is no exception and the present paper attempts to briefly highlight how an evolutionary/adaptationist perspective has informed our understanding of how groups reach consensus and make collective choices. In addition, we attempt to show that humans are not the only species that use group processes to make important choices. Looking for similarities and continuities among research domains with different species should lead to a more unified and informed understanding of group decision-making processes and outcomes.