Am I respected or not?: Inclusion and reputation as issues in group membership
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Six studies examined why and when respect vs. disrespect influences people’s emotions, self-worth, and behavior. Following relational models of justice, we argued that people use groups to derive information about the social self and as such value respect information because it indicates (a) whether or not they are accepted, and (b) how their status within the group is evaluated. These two identity concerns were operationalized by means of reinforcing people’s desire to belong (i.e., the identity concern of acceptance) and concern for reputation (i.e., the identity concern of one’s status evaluation). In line with predictions, the first three studies demonstrated that respect matters only among those whose concerns to belong are made salient. Studies 4–6 further showed that respect only influenced reactions among those who have strong concerns for reputation. It is concluded that respect communicates information relevant to people’s identity concerns—i.e., inclusion and reputation.