Van Prooijen, J.-W., & Van Knippenberg, D. (2000). Individuation or depersonalisation: The influence of personal status position. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 3, 63-77.
We propose that personal status affects the extent to which individuals have a depersonalized perception of the self, that is, perceive themselves in terms of their group membership rather than individuating characteristics. In two experiments, we tested the prediction that individuals with low personal status tend more to depersonalization than individuals with high personal status, especially when individual distinctiveness is threatened. Results were generally in line with predictions. In Experiment 1, in which relative group size was manipulated, individuals with low personal status displayed more depersonalization than individuals with high personal status, although independent of relative group size. In Experiment 2, in which group immersion was manipulated, individuals with low personal status reported more depersonalized judgments than individuals with high personal status when group immersion was high.