Theories of Group Behavior

Part of the series Springer Series in Social Psychology pp 125-146

Self-Attention Theory: The Effects of Group Composition on the Individual

  • Brian Mullen

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Self-attention theory (Carver, 1979, 1984; Carver & Scheier, 1981; Duval & Wicklund, 1972; Mullen, 1983) is concerned with self-regulation processes that occur as a result of becoming the figure of one’s attentional focus. According to self-attention theory, there are three fundamental requirements for any self-regulation of behavior to occur. These requirements are: self-focused attention, a salient behavioral standard, and a sufficiently good outcome expectancy to warrent continued efforts. We will begin by delineating each of these three elements of self-attention theory.