Group-identity completion and the symbolic value of property

Alison Ledgerwood, Ido Liviatan, Peter J. Carnevale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Building on symbolic self-completion theory, we conceptualize group identity as a goal toward which group members strive, using material symbols of that identity. We report four studies showing that the value placed on such material symbols (e.g., a building) depends on commitment to group identity, the extent to which a symbol can be used to represent in-group identity, and situational variability in goal strength induced through group-identity affirmation or threat. Our results suggest that property derives value from its capacity to serve as an effective means in the pursuit of group-identity goals. Implications for intergroup conflict are discussed. ©

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-878
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


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