Keywords: norm-violators, deviance, dissent, group evaluation, perceived entitativity
Many scholars have found that groups usually reject deviants and dissenters to protect their positive identity amongst other groups. However, whether and how the external group image is affected by the rejection of deviants and dissenters is still underexplored. Two experimental studies examined how rejecting (vs tolerating) deviants who violate general norms or dissenters who argue against the group interests influences the evaluation of the group and its perceived entitativity among outsiders. In Study 1 (N = 152) we found that the group’s evaluation – but not the perceived entitativity – was positively affected by the rejection of a deviant. In Study 2 (N = 191) we found that when a group rejects a dissenter its perceived entitativity – but not its positive evaluation – increases. We discussed our findings in light of the subjective group dynamics model and provide suggestions for future research.