Showing engagement or not: The influence of social identification and group deadlines on individual control strategies

Karl-Andrew Woltin, Kai Sassenberg

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People often work together in groups that have to reach goals in a given time frame. Nonetheless, the impact of deadlines on group members’ self-control has not been studied so far. Here this topic is addressed by integrating the action-phase model (Heckhausen, 1999), which postulates the use of different self-control strategies during individual-level goal pursuit, with the social identity approach. It was predicted and found in two studies that highly identified group members, in contrast to those who were only weakly identified, responded to a group’s deadline phase (pre vs. post) by showing phase-appropriate patterns of engagement and disengagement. Study 1 measured identification and assessed
intentions and behavioral indicators of self-control. Study 2 manipulated identification and assessed self-reports of intended self-control strategies. Overall, the findings corroborate the notion that the social self can serve as a basis for self-regulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-44
Number of pages21
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • control strategies
  • identification
  • goal disengagement
  • group deadline
  • self-regulation

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