The appeal of worthless groups: Moderating effects of trait self-esteem


Journal Article

The authors tested the hypothesis that people with low trait self-esteem prefer to join seemingly worthless groups because one's membership is less tenuous in worthless than in worthwhile groups. One hundred fourteen undergraduate students who completed a measure of trait self-esteem expressed their preference for working in a group versus alone on a task described as worthless or worthwhile. Furthermore, they were told that if they worked with the group, they might be removed from the group either randomly or by a group vote. Participants with low trait self-esteem preferred working with the worthless group more than the worthwhile group, whereas participants with high self-esteem snowed the opposite effect. In addition, the mere possibility of exclusion by a group vote lowered the state self-esteem of participants with low trait self-esteem but raised the self-esteem of those with high self-esteem. Copyright 1997 by the Educational Publishing Foundation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Haupt, AL; Leary, MR

Published Date

  • January 1, 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 1 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 124 - 132

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1089-2699

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/1089-2699.1.2.124

Citation Source

  • Scopus