Collective Participation Impacts Social Identity: A Longitudinal Study with Control Data

Steve Reicher, Nick Hopkins, Sammyh Khan, Shruti Tewari, Narayanan Srinivasan, Clifford Stevenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How does participation in collective activity affect our social identifications and behavior? We investigate this question in a longitudinal questionnaire study conducted at one of the world’s largest collective events – the Magh Mela (a month-long Hindu religious festival in north India). Data gathered from pilgrims and comparable others who did not attend the event show that one month after this mass gathering was over, those who had participated (but not controls) exhibited a heightened social identification as Hindu and increased levels of religious activity (e.g., performing prayer rituals). Additional data gathered from the pilgrim respondents during the festival show that the pilgrims’ perceptions of sharing a common identity with other pilgrims, and of being able to enact their social identity in this event, predicted these outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages35
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Publication statusIn preparation - 2013


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