Reduction of Interindividual-Intergroup Discontinuity: The Role of Leader Accountability and Proneness to Guilt

Brad Pinter, Chester A. Insko, Tim Wildschut, Jeffrey L. Kirchner, R. Matthew Montoya, Scott T. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


Two experiments contrasted interactions between group leaders with interactions between individuals in a mixed-motive setting. Consistent with the idea that being accountable to the in-group implies normative pressure to benefit the in-group, Experiment 1 found that accountable leaders were more competitive than individuals. Consistent with the idea that being unaccountable to the in-group implies normative pressure to be cooperative and that high guilt proneness provides motivation to be moral, Experiment 2 found that when guilt proneness was high, unaccountable leaders were less competitive than accountable leaders and did not differ significantly from individuals. In other words, the robust interindividual-intergroup discontinuity effect was eliminated when groups had unaccountable leaders who were high in guilt proneness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-265
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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