IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On the relationship between social distance and threat


  • Astrid C. Buba

    (International Max Planck Research School on Adapting Behavior in a Fundamentally Uncertain World, Jena, Germany)

  • Natascha de Hoog


We investigated the dependence of threat perception and reaction on social distance estimation. Social identity threat was imposed within a 2x2 between subjects design, with N=163 students reading a criticising comment about their ingroup assigned to originate from one of two possible outgroups. The participants completed parts of the scale Overlap of self, ingroup and outgroup (OSIO, Schubert and Otten, 2002) as a measure of social distance either before or after the threat manipulation. Results show significantly differing social distance estimations as a reaction towards the threatening comment depending on the criticising outgroup. The implications of these findings and the possibility of social distancing being another kind of defensive mechanism towards social identity threat are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Astrid C. Buba & Natascha de Hoog, 2009. "On the relationship between social distance and threat," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-032, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2009-032

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. Vittoria Levati & Tibor Neugebauer, 2004. "An Application of the English Clock Market Mechanism to Public Goods Games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(2), pages 153-169, June.
    2. Potters, Jan & Sefton, Martin & Vesterlund, Lise, 2005. "After you--endogenous sequencing in voluntary contribution games," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1399-1419, August.
    3. Werner Güth & Maria Vittoria Levati & Andreas Stiehler, "undated". "Privately Contributing to Public Goods over Time - An Experimental Study -," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-01, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    4. Neugebauer, Tibor & Perote, Javier & Schmidt, Ulrich & Loos, Malte, 2009. "Selfish-biased conditional cooperation: On the decline of contributions in repeated public goods experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 52-60, February.
    5. Ananish Chaudhuri & Tirnud Paichayontvijit, 2006. "Conditional cooperation and voluntary contributions to a public good," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(8), pages 1-14.
    6. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
    7. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
    8. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
    9. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gachter, 2010. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 541-556, March.
    10. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2006:i:8:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2000. "The False Consensus Effect Disappears if Representative Information and Monetary Incentives Are Given," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(3), pages 241-260, December.
    12. Simon Gaechter, 2006. "Conditional cooperation: Behavioral regularities from the lab and the field and their policy implications," Discussion Papers 2006-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    13. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    14. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
    15. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    16. Brandts, Jordi & Schram, Arthur, 2001. "Cooperation and noise in public goods experiments: applying the contribution function approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 399-427, February.
    17. Goren, Harel & Kurzban, Robert & Rapoport, Amnon, 2003. "Social loafing vs. social enhancement: Public goods provisioning in real-time with irrevocable commitments," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 277-290, March.
    18. Buckley, Edward & Croson, Rachel, 2006. "Income and wealth heterogeneity in the voluntary provision of linear public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 935-955, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    social identity threat; criticism; distance;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2009-032. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Markus Pasche). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.