Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Tom Postmes

Tom Postmes

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The research I have been involved in (often in collaboration with many colleagues and students) is concerned with communication and group processes in small teams, organizations and social categories. In small groups, I have studied a variety of processes including social influence, deindividuation, negotiation, the formation of group norms and the formation of a sense of shared social identity. In this research, the interaction between group members plays a key role, not just as a variable of interest, but as a process that I believe to be an essential component of many group phenomena. Many of these studies were conducted as "on-line" investigations of processes in computer-mediated communication.

I am also interested in intergroup relations. This includes work on the perception of discrimination, social identification, and collective action. In a different line of research I have been examining the consequences of racial, ethnic and sectarian segregation on well-being and social identification. One example of this research is a project to examine the well-being consequences of long-term racial segregation among African Americans (Postmes & Branscombe, 2002). Recent research has extended these findings to other groups and social contexts.

Finally, I am interested in organizational issues, in particular in organizational identity. I have looked at the relationship between communication and social identification, for example. In more recent projects we are studying the determinants of creativity and productivity. The central theme in these projects is to examine how productivity can be increased in various practical settings by strengthening social identity and by changing the content(s) of social identity.

Primary Interests:

  • Communication, Language
  • Group Processes
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Internet and Virtual Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Self and Identity

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Tom Postmes
Dept. of Social and Organizational Psychology
University of Groningen
Grote Kruisstraat 2/1
9712 TS Groningen
The Netherlands

  • Phone: +31 50 363 6196

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