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Magraw-Mickelson, Zoe ORCID: 0000-0002-2951-0501; Gollwitzer, Mario ORCID: 0000-0003-4310-4793 (2018): Relational and Group Collective Self Responses to Observed Victimization Across Cultures. In: Social Justice Research, Vol. 31: pp. 113-132
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Abstract

Mental representations of the “self” consist of both individual aspects (i.e., how one differs from other people) and collective aspects (i.e., how one relates to other people), with collective aspects further consisting of interpersonal relations (the “relational” self) and of memberships in social groups (the “group collective” self). Some researchers assume that there is a universal motivational hierarchy in self-representations (with the relational self being more relevant than the group collective self). Other research suggests that the relative importance of self-representations varies across cultures. This paper tests the motivational hierarchy hypothesis in a cross-cultural context. Emotional reactions (anger, outrage, vengeful intentions) to observed victimization of a collective or relational group member were assessed in Germany, Japan, and the USA. In line with the motivational hierarchy hypothesis, we found, across all three countries, evidence for the primacy of the relational self over the group collective self.