Publications by year
Stuart A, Stevenson C, Koschate M, Cohen J, Levine M
(In Press). "Oh no, not a group!” the factors that lonely or isolated people report as barriers to joining groups for health and wellbeing. British Journal of Health Psychology
"Oh no, not a group!” the factors that lonely or isolated people report as barriers to joining groups for health and wellbeing
Objectives: Belonging to groups can significantly affect people’s health and well-being for the better (‘the social cure’), or worse (‘the social curse’). Encouraging people to join groups is a central component of the Social Prescribing movement, however not everyone who might benefit from Social Prescribing aspires to participating in groups. This study aims to identify what barriers are preventing people from experiencing the associated health and wellbeing benefits of group belonging. Abstract
Method: Semi-structured interviews analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Participants were 11 white British people (aged 48-86), 1 male and 10 female, recruited by a charity partner of a Social Prescribing project.
Results: the themes derived from the interviews are: 1) “The dread, the fear of being in a group”: When groups do not meet needs; 2) “I can remember as quite a young child backing out of things”: Accumulative barriers over the lifetime, and 3) “I’m singing away and feeling terribly miserable”: the challenges of fitting in with others in groups. The themes reflect how people can feel deterred from social interaction, which interferes with their ability to derive a sense of belonging or shared identity associated with the ‘social cure’.
Conclusions: a key challenge for Social Prescribing is to meet the social needs of people disinclined to join groups; groups can be detrimental to health and wellbeing if there are barriers to integration. Alternative ways of structuring groups or activities may be more effective and can still avail of the belonging and identity associated with ‘the social cure’.
Naserianhanzaei E, Koschate-Reis M
(In Press). Effects of substance-use, recovery, and non-using online community participation on risk of relapse during opioid recovery: a longitudinal observational study (Preprint).
Effects of substance-use, recovery, and non-using online community participation on risk of relapse during opioid recovery: a longitudinal observational study (Preprint)
. Opioid addiction presents one of the most pressing public health issues of the day. Despite several treatment options for opioid addiction, relapse rates remain high. Research indicates that meaningful membership in various social groups underpins the successful transition from addiction to long-term recovery. However, much of the current literature focuses on online recovery support groups rather than online group memberships that go beyond substance use and recovery.
. The aim of this study is to understand whether engagement with a variety of Reddit subforums (subreddits) provides those who are recovering from opioid addiction with social capital, thereby reducing their risk of relapse across several years. More specifically, it examines the different effects that engagement with subreddits related to substance use, recovery, and non-using interests, respectively, have.
. A dataset of N=457 recovering opioid addicts who self-announced the date of their recovery on Reddit was collected, of which 219 (48%) indicated to have relapsed at least once during the recovery period. Using a Cox proportional hazards model, the effects of number of non-using, recovery, and substance use subreddits an individual had engaged with on risk of relapse were tested. Group engagement was assessed both in terms of absolute numbers of communities an individual had posted in and as a proportion of total online communities.
. Engaging with a larger number of non-using online communities reduced the likelihood of relapse irrespective of the number of posts and comments made in these forums. This was true for both the absolute number of non-using communities (P<.001) and as a proportion of communities a person engaged with (P<.001). Findings were less conclusive for recovery and substance use groups: Although participating in more recovery subreddits reduced relapse risk (P<.001), being part of a higher proportion of recovery groups relative to other subreddits increased risk (P=.01). A higher proportion of substance use subreddits increased relapse risk marginally (P=.06), but the absolute number of substance use subreddits reduced the risk of relapse significantly (P=.002).
. Our work indicates that even minimal regular engagement with several non-using online forums may provide those who are recovering from opioid addiction with an opportunity to grow their social capital and reduce the risk of relapse across several years.
Adarves-Yorno I, Mahdon M, Schueltke L, Koschate-Reis M, Tarrant M (In Press). Mindfulness and Social Identity: Predicting Wellbeing in a High Stress Environment. Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Koschate-Reis M, Dickens L, Stuart A, Naserian E, Russo A, Levine M
(In Press). Predicting a Salient Social Identity from Linguistic Style.
Predicting a Salient Social Identity from Linguistic Style
Social media data are already being used to classify individuals into mutually exclusive social groups. Here we propose a model based on self-categorization theory that classifies which of two social identities is salient within the same person using text data. Based on over 500,000 online forum posts and seven prototype-based style features, a trained classifier correctly distinguishes between posts written by the same person in two different social contexts – a parenting forum and a feminist forum – significantly above chance level (AUC =. 74). We then apply the trained classifier to a new dataset (N = 153) obtained from an online experiment where salience of group membership is manipulated. We show that our trained model distinguishes between salient parent and feminist identities significantly above chance level when the topic is irrelevant to either identity (AUC =. 69). We discuss applications but also limitations of a text-based prediction of salient social identities. Abstract
Zinn A, Koschate-Reis M, Lavric A (In Press). Social Identity Switching: How Effective is it?. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Zinn AK, Koschate M, Naserianhanzaei E, Lavric A
(2023). Can we prevent social identity switches? an experimental-computational investigation. Br J Soc Psychol
Can we prevent social identity switches? an experimental-computational investigation.
Previous studies suggested that social identity switches are rapid and highly effective, raising the question of whether people can intentionally control such switches. In two studies, we tested if participants could exert top-down control to prevent a social identity switch triggered by the experimental context. In Study 1, participants (N = 198) were given a writing task aimed at prompting a switch from their parent identity to their feminist identity. Before the prompt, half of the participants (the experimental group) were instructed to remain in their parent identity, avoiding an identity switch; the control group was not given such instructions. We found no significant difference between the groups in either self-reported salience or the implicit computational measure of salience based on participants' linguistic style, both measures suggesting a switch in both groups. Study 2 (N = 380) followed the same design but included a monetary incentive to prevent the switch in the experimental group. The groups differed significantly in their self-reported salience but not in the implicit measure, which suggests limited ability to avoid the switch even when participants report being able to do so. These results point to limited intentional control over exogenously triggered identity switches, with important practical implications. Abstract
. Author URL
Koschate M, Naserian E, Dickens L, Stuart A, Russo A, Levine M
(2021). ASIA: Automated Social Identity Assessment using linguistic style. Behavior Research Methods
ASIA: Automated Social Identity Assessment using linguistic style
AbstractThe various group and category memberships that we hold are at the heart of who we are. They have been shown to affect our thoughts, emotions, behavior, and social relations in a variety of social contexts, and have more recently been linked to our mental and physical well-being. Questions remain, however, over the dynamics between different group memberships and the ways in which we cognitively and emotionally acquire these. In particular, current assessment methods are missing that can be applied to naturally occurring data, such as online interactions, to better understand the dynamics and impact of group memberships in naturalistic settings. To provide researchers with a method for assessing specific group memberships of interest, we have developed ASIA (Automated Social Identity Assessment), an analytical protocol that uses linguistic style indicators in text to infer which group membership is salient in a given moment, accompanied by an in-depth open-source Jupyter Notebook tutorial (https://github.com/Identity-lab/Tutorial-on-salient-social-Identity-detection-model). Here, we first discuss the challenges in the study of salient group memberships, and how ASIA can address some of these. We then demonstrate how our analytical protocol can be used to create a method for assessing which of two specific group memberships—parents and feminists—is salient using online forum data, and how the quality (validity) of the measurement and its interpretation can be tested using two further corpora as well as an experimental study. We conclude by discussing future developments in the field. Abstract
Naserian E, Koschate-Reis M
(2021). Do Group Memberships Online Protect Addicts in Recovery against Relapse? Testing the Social Identity Model of Recovery in the Online World. 24th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing. 23rd - 27th Oct 2021.
Do Group Memberships Online Protect Addicts in Recovery against Relapse? Testing the Social Identity Model of Recovery in the Online World
(2021). Social Identity Enactment Through Linguistic Style: Using Naturally Occurring Online Data to Study Behavioural Prototypicality.
Social Identity Enactment Through Linguistic Style: Using Naturally Occurring Online Data to Study Behavioural Prototypicality
Social identity prototypes refer to the quintessential representation of a particular social identity; prototypes define and prescribe the characteristics, behaviours and attitudes of a particular group, as distinguished from other groups (Hogg, 2001). For the most part, identity prototypicality is studied using self-reported methods used to assess perceptions of the prototypicality of self and others. However, in this thesis we provide behavioural evidence to demonstrate how linguistic style data can be used to measure identity-prototypical behaviour in real world contexts. Combining naturally-occurring online data with experimental data, the first chapter demonstrates that individuals behave in an identity-prototypical way regardless of the context in which they are communicating. Further, we show that this identity-prototypical style of communication is robust to topic, demographics, personality and platform, and moreover that the same identity-prototypical communication style can be detected in experimentally controlled conditions. In the second chapter, we demonstrate the small but statistically significant link between identity-prototypical communication and influence in real-world forum data. This finding provides insight into how group members respond to other ingroup members based on their prototypical communication style in real-world situations. Finally, in the third chapter, we use the group prototypical behaviour observed in naturally occurring online forum data to construct a typology of social identities, demonstrating the existence of five different types of social identity in line with the research of Deaux et al. (1995). We also demonstrate that it is possible to use this measurement of behavioural prototypicality to observe identity change over time. Using eight years’ worth of forum data, we illustrate the slow movement of the transgender identity from being a stigmatised identity in 2012, to shifting towards a collective action identity in 2019. In sum, the findings outlined in this thesis provide evidence to support the idea that it is possible to use machine learning algorithms and naturally occurring online data to study behavioural prototypicality in real world environments. Moreover, this methodology enables us to study identities ‘in the wild’ thus transcending the limitations associated with using self-reported methodologies or experimental approaches to study how individuals express and enact their group memberships. Further, we also demonstrate the value in using naturally-occurring online behavioural data to test and extend the key components of social identity theory. Abstract
Keil TF, Koschate-Reis M, Levine M
(2020). Contact Logger: Measuring everyday intergroup contact experiences in near-time. Behavior Research Methods
Contact Logger: Measuring everyday intergroup contact experiences in near-time
Intergroup contact research has traditionally relied on retrospective accounts of intergroup encounters, mainly through survey-based or observational methods. This study introduces and tests the usability of a purpose-built, location-aware mobile application—the Contact Logger. This application enables the recording of interpersonal and intergroup encounters, in public and private spaces (both indoor and outdoor), in their here-and-now contexts. The main advantage of this approach, compared to traditional methods, lies in its ability to collect repeated and timely (near-time) self-assessments of individuals’ behaviours and experiences. It also allows for geographical location data to be logged. Usability testing was conducted in a real-world environment and took place over the course of seven days, during which participants (N = 12) logged every contact they encountered with an outgroup member (here: older people). Subsequently, participants completed a paper-and-pencil questionnaire, reporting on the usability and experience of using the Contact Logger. Results showed that the application is a viable and easy-to-use alternative to traditional methods. The information gathered aided the further development and optimisation of the application. The outcomes of this process are also briefly discussed. Abstract
Cork A, Koschate-Reis M, Everson R, Levine M (2020). Using Computational Techniques to Study Social Influence Online (dataset).
Cork A, Everson R, Levine M, Koschate M
(2020). Using computational techniques to study social influence online. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations
Using computational techniques to study social influence online
the social identity approach suggests that group prototypical individuals have greater influence over fellow group members. This effect has been well-studied offline. Here, we use a novel method of assessing prototypicality in naturally occurring data to test whether this effect can be replicated in online communities. In Study 1a ( N = 53,049 Reddit users), we train a linguistic measure of prototypicality for two social groups: libertarians and entrepreneurs. We then validate this measure further to ensure it is not driven by demographics (Study 1b: N = 882) or local accommodation (Study 1c: N = 1,684 Silk Road users). In Study 2 ( N = 8,259), we correlate this measure of prototypicality with social network indicators of social influence. In line with the social identity approach, individuals who are more prototypical generate more responses from others. Implications for testing sociopsychological theories with naturally occurring data using computational approaches are discussed. Abstract
Keil TF, Koschate-Reis M (2020). Variations in Subjective Definitions of Everyday Situations as Intergroup Contact. British Journal of Social Psychology
Keil TF, Koschate-Reis M, Levine M (2019). Contact Logger: Measuring Everyday Intergroup. Contact Experiences in Near-Time.
Koschate-Reis M, Mesoudi A, Levine M (2018). Shared group membership facilitates the persistence of culturally transmitted behaviour.
Eller A, Abrams D, Koschate M
(2017). Can stateways change folkways? Longitudinal tests of the interactive effects of intergroup contact and categorization on prejudice. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Can stateways change folkways? Longitudinal tests of the interactive effects of intergroup contact and categorization on prejudice
This research examined how a predictable change in the social structure over time (from segregated to integrated) can affect the way intergroup contact and subjective categorization of ingroup and outgroup members (intergroup, superordinate, dual identity) impact on intergroup bias. A three-stage longitudinal study was conducted with six-month intervals (Ns = 708, 435, 418) involving high school students in Germany. Time 1 (T1) was characterized by structural segregation and Times 2 and 3 (T2, T3) by structural integration. Longitudinal analysis between T1 and T2 showed that intergroup categorization (but not superordinate categorization or dual identity) improved intergroup relations. Between T2 and T3, dual identity reduced intergroup bias and marginally increased interpersonal closeness whereas superordinate categorization increased bias and reduced interpersonal closeness. There were no effects of intergroup categorization between T2 and T3. Overall, positive effects of contact increased over time, reaching significance from T2 to T3, supporting a consolidation hypothesis and intergroup contact theory more widely. These findings are also consistent with a congruence hypothesis that the impact of intergroup contact is partly determined by the match between how people categorize ingroup and outgroup members and the social structure that frames intergroup relations. Abstract
Bremner P, Koschate M, Levine M
(2016). Humanoid robot avatars: an 'in the wild' usability study.
Humanoid robot avatars: an 'in the wild' usability study
Koschate M, Potter R, Bremner P, Levine M
(2016). Overcoming the uncanny valley: Displays of emotions reduce the uncanniness of humanlike robots.
Overcoming the uncanny valley: Displays of emotions reduce the uncanniness of humanlike robots
Kuchenbrandt D, van Dick R, Koschate M, Ullrich J, Bornewasser M
(2014). More than music! a longitudinal test of German-Polish music encounters. International Journal of Intercultural Relations
More than music! a longitudinal test of German-Polish music encounters
This research examines music encounters as a hitherto unexplored type of intergroup contact intervention. We tested the short- and mid-term effects of German-Polish music encounters that either took place in Germany or in Poland, respectively, on German's attitudes toward Poles. Ninety-nine German participants completed a questionnaire one week before the encounter (t0), directly thereafter (t1), and four weeks later (t2). The control group (N=67) did not take part in any music encounter and completed the measures twice (t0 and t2). Results revealed that attitudes toward the Polish out-group improved sustainably, but only when the encounter took place in Poland. In contrast, for encounters realized in Germany, no attitude change occurred. Implications of these findings are discussed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Abstract
Koschate M, Oethinger S, Kuchenbrandt D, van Dick R
(2012). Is an outgroup member in need a friend indeed? Personal and task-oriented contact as predictors of intergroup prosocial behavior. European Journal of Social Psychology
Is an outgroup member in need a friend indeed? Personal and task-oriented contact as predictors of intergroup prosocial behavior
Intergroup contact, particularly close personal contact, has been shown to improve intergroup relations, mainly by reducing negative attitudes and emotions toward outgroups. We argue that contact can also increase intergroup prosocial behavior. More specifically, we predict that different forms of contact will differentially impact on prosocial behavior directed at individual outgroup members and outgroups as a whole. Data of two studies (N 1=264, N 2=185), conducted with workgroups in two organizations, show that personal contact is a better predictor of prosocial behavior directed at individual outgroup members, whereas task-oriented contact is a better predictor of prosocial behavior directed at an outgroup as a whole. Additionally, Study 2 provides evidence that empathy mediates the path from personal contact to individual-directed prosocial behavior, whereas reward (but not cost) considerations mediate the path from task-oriented contact to outgroup-directed prosocial behavior. Implications for research on intergroup contact and prosocial behavior are discussed. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Abstract
Koschate M, Hofmann W, Schmitt M
(2012). When East meets West: a longitudinal examination of the relationship between group relative deprivation and intergroup contact in reunified Germany. British Journal of Social Psychology
When East meets West: a longitudinal examination of the relationship between group relative deprivation and intergroup contact in reunified Germany
Intergroup contact and group relative deprivation have both been shown to play a key role in the understanding of intergroup relations. Nevertheless, we know little about their causal relationship. In order to shed some light on the directionality and causality of the relationship between intergroup contact and group relative deprivation, we analysed responses by East and West Germans from k= 97 different cities, collected 6 (N T1= 1,001), 8 (N T2= 747), and 10 years (N T3= 565) after reunification. Multi-level cross-lagged analyses showed that group relative deprivation at T1 led to more (rather than less) intergroup contact between East and West Germans 2 years as well as 4 years later. We found no evidence for the reverse causal relationship, or moderation by group membership. Furthermore, admiration mediated the positive effect of relative deprivation on intergroup contact for both East and West Germans. This intriguing finding suggests that intergroup contact may be used as a proactive identity management strategy by members of both minority and majority groups. © 2012 the British Psychological Society. Abstract
Koschate M, van Dick R
(2011). A multilevel test of Allport's contact conditions. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations
A multilevel test of Allport's contact conditions
This study tests the relative predictive power of Allport's contact conditions in reducing intergroup bias with a multilevel model. In addition, it is argued that a fourth contact condition, cooperation, mediates the relationships between the first three contact conditions (authority support, equal status, goal interdependence) and intergroup bias, rather than being an independent predictor. A multilevel model with N = 266 individuals within k = 48 work groups in a larger mail order company shows that equal status and goal interdependence negatively predict intergroup bias, with goal interdependence as the stronger predictor. These effects are partially mediated by cooperation. However, while authority support is predictive of intergroup cooperation, no relationship with intergroup bias emerged. Theoretical and practical implications of the relative predictive power of contact conditions and the mediation by cooperation are discussed. © the Author(s) 2011. Abstract
Eller A, Koschate M, Gilson KM
(2011). Embarrassment: the ingroup-outgroup audience effect in faux pas situations. European Journal of Social Psychology
Embarrassment: the ingroup-outgroup audience effect in faux pas situations
Embarrassment arises when we reveal an apparent flaw of the self in front of others, for instance, in a faux pas situation. An audience is crucial for embarrassment, but the group membership of the audience has not yet been studied. According to the social identity approach, we assign more importance to evaluations by ingroup than by outgroup members, particularly when we identify highly, and the outgroup is of lower status. A pilot study (N=30) showed that embarrassment correlated positively with group membership of the audience and with identification. Studies 1 to 3 presented participants with several faux pas scenarios. In Study 1 (between-participants design; N=75), participants reported higher embarrassment in ingroup (Norwegian) and equal-status outgroup (Swedish) conditions than in a lower-status outgroup condition (Polish). In Study 2 (within-participants design; N=135), participants reported higher embarrassment when they imagined the audience to be other Scots (ingroup) than Americans or Poles (outgroups), particularly when they perceived the outgroup to be lower in status. In Study 3 (between-participants design; N=59), high identifiers but not low identifiers showed the expected ingroup-outgroup audience effect. Implications for intergroup relations are discussed. Key Message: Embarrassment following faux pas situations depends on the group membership of the audience, relative status of the audience and ingroup identification. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Abstract
Koschate M, van Dick R
(2008). The floor between us: a context-specific model of contact between workgroups. Author URL
(2008). United We Stand - an Analysis of Attitudes and Prosocial Behavior between Workgroups from a Social Identity and Intergroup Contact Perspective.
United We Stand - an Analysis of Attitudes and Prosocial Behavior between Workgroups from a Social Identity and Intergroup Contact Perspective
Buettner C, Koschate M
(2003). Westliche Psychologie gegen Jugendgewalt weltweit: Plädoyer für eine kultursensitive Anwendung.
Gesellschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit, Frankfurt/Main, Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung.
Westliche Psychologie gegen Jugendgewalt weltweit: Plädoyer für eine kultursensitive Anwendung