Measuring Dyadic/Tribal Affiliation

Kristin Sommer, Joseph Ogilvie

Abstract


Gender differences in belongingness provide fecund ground for the study of intrapsychic and interpersonal behavior. As such, the development of a scale measuring large versus small sphere orientation can provide a measure of predictive validity for many psychosocial processes (e.g., interpersonal rejection, self-esteem, and aggression). For example, within the two-sphere framework, interpersonal rejection would be far more injurious to the male ego when in the presence of a group because such acts are perceived as threats to establishing a broader social network. Threats to self-esteem would likewise be more damaging to the male when in the company of a group because of the fear of being perceived as weak by others; a characteristic that would also hamper the need for broader, social spheres. We would also predict that aggression in domestic violence may, in fact, be moderated by the two-sphere typology: males who are abusive within the family unit would also generalize this abuse to a larger sphere; whereas females would tend to localize aggression within the confines of the family unit the smaller sphere. Currently this assumption is partly supported by research on domestic violence (Strauss, 1980; Breslin, Riggs, O'leary & Arias, 1990; O'leary et al., 1989, cited in Baumeister & Sommer, 1997, p. 40). We expect that the development and validation of a scale that adequately taps the constructs within the two-sphere typology will augment and, perhaps, provide alternate means from which to view behavioral differences in gender.

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References


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