People severely initiated into a group often have stronger group affiliation than those undergoing a mild or no initiation. There is controversy over the correct theoretical explanation for this. The traditional explanation is that new members exaggerate their liking of the group as a way of avoiding cognitive dissonance. An explanation that has emerged more recently (e.g. Lodewijkx Syroit, 2001) has been that from the Severity-Affiliation-Attraction-Hypothesis (SAAH), suggesting that the evoked physiological arousal increases affiliation. These competing explanations were investigated. Experiments 1-2 suggested that the least amount of cognitive dissonance led to the highest amounts of group affiliation. Experiment 3 (ongoing) is testing SAAH by tracking physiological arousal whilst varying initiation of learner-drivers. Results, various rites-of-passage and cultural explanations will be discussed to extract conclusions on what severe initiations do to new group members and why.
|Title of host publication||Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, 24-27 June 2010, New Orleans, United States of America.|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2010|