The current research investigates what motivates people to engage in normative versus nonnormative action. Prior research has shown that different emotions lead to different types of action. We argue that these differing emotions are determined by a more basic characteristic, namely, implicit theories about whether groups and the world in general can change. We hypothesized that incremental theories (beliefs that groups/the world can change) would predict normative action, and entity theories (beliefs that groups/the world cannot change) as well as group identification would predict nonnormative action. We conducted a pilot in the context of protests against a government plan to relocate Bedouin villages in Israel and a main study during the Israeli social protests of the middle class. Results revealed three distinct pathways to collective action. First, incremental theories about the world predicted hope, which predicted normative action. Second, incremental theories about groups and group identification predicted anger, which also predicted normative collective action. Lastly, entity theories about groups predicted nonnormative collective action through hatred, but only for participants who were highly identified with the group. In sum, people who believed in the possibility of change supported normative action, whereas those who believed change was not possible supported nonnormative action.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 International Society of Political Psychology
- collective action
- implicit theories
- nonnormative action