Different domains of identity predict different exit strategies

Joseph A. Wagoner*, Mark J. Rinnela, Nicolas B. Barreto, Vladimir Turjacanin, Danielle L. Blaylock

*Corresponding author for this work

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Group schisms are ubiquitous, but little is known about what predicts how people will break away from a group. We hypothesized that different domains of identification (national, regional, ethnonational) would predict support for different types of exit. Study 1 focused on Serbs in the Republic of Srpska within Bosnia-and-Herzegovina (N = 188), while Studies 2 (N = 115) and Study 3 (N = 318) focused on people who identify as Irish in Northern Ireland within the U.K. Across all three studies, weaker national identification predicted support for subgroup exit. Stronger ethnonational identification consistently predicted support for the subgroup joining an existing group, while regional identification had differing relationships with support for the subgroup becoming an independent entity across the samples. Individual exit intentions were predicted by different domains of identification across the three samples. These findings suggest that various domains of identification can predict how people will leave a group.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Early online date11 May 2022
Publication statusEarly online date - 11 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • group processes
  • national identity
  • schisms
  • social identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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