The development of group identity in computer and face-to-face groups with membership change

  • Kelly S. Bouas
  • Holly Arrow


A three-part conception of group identity is proposed that draws on common fate, cohesiveness, and cognitive views of group identity. The changing contribution of these three components to group identity was examined for 31 original and 29 reconfigured groups which met for 7 consecutive weeks using either face-to-face (FIF) or computer-mediated communication (CMC). Group identity was consistently lower for computer-mediated groups, and this effect was stronger in the reconfigured groups. In the original groups, group identity started high and declined for both FTF and CMC groups. In the reconfigured groups, developmental patterns differed from those of the original groups, and also differed by communication medium. Individual differences accounted for a substantial amount of variance in group identity across original and reconfigured groups.

Key words

Group identity computer-mediated communication group development membership change 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly S. Bouas
    • 1
  • Holly Arrow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA

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