Asymmetries in Attachments to Groups and to their Members: Distinguishing between Common-Identity and Common-Bond Groups
Two studies sought to validate the distinction between common-identity groups, which are based on direct attachments to the group identity, and common-bond groups, which are based on attachments among group members. Study 1 focused on members of selective and nonselective university eating clubs. Study 2 focused on members of a diverse sample of campus groups. Both studies revealed asymmetries in group and member attachments: Individuals in common-identity groups were more attached to their group than to its members, whereas individuals in common-bond groups were as attached to the members as to the group (or more so). Study 2 also demonstrated that attachment to the group was more strongly related to various evaluations of individual group members in common-bond than in common-identity groups. The authors discuss the implications of these results for the development of groups over time and speculate on how the dynamics of the two types of groups might differ.