Journal of Social Psychology vol:141 issue:6 pages:765-783
To test predictions of social identity theory (SIT; M. A. Hogg & D. Abrams, 1988; H. Tajfel & J. C. Turner, 1979) and the 5-stage model (FSM; D. M. Taylor & D. J. McKirnan, 1984) concerning reactions to membership in a low-status group, the authors led 112 pupils to believe that another (anonymous) class outperformed their class. In an overall permeable and legitimate intergroup context, the authors manipulated the stability of the low group status and the individual ability of the group members. Contrary to SIT and FSM, the pupils generally favored collective normative action. Individual mobility was preferred only by group members, especially boys, with high individual ability who thought that the low status of their group was stable. The results support FSM assumptions (a) that individual ability is a powerful determinant of intergroup behavior but (b) that one should consider its impact in combination with perceived stability.