Date of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Psychology, PhD


School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Michael A. Hogg

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

William D. Crano

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Eusebio M. Alvaro

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2023 Alison Young


Social identity, Leadership, Rhetoric, Spanning behavior, Leader evaluations

Subject Categories

Psychiatry and Psychology


Framed by the social identity theory of leadership, one question that is beginning to receive attention is how intergroup leaders can lead across distinct subgroups and improve inter-subgroup relations without provoking social identity-related concerns (e.g., subgroup identity distinctiveness threat). Past studies have found that leaders can use their rhetoric and boundary spanning behavior to meet their members’ identity needs and garner support. In addition, the self-uncertainty literature has suggested that leaders can strategically elevate and resolve members’ self-uncertainty through their rhetoric. The current research proposed that members who felt uncertain about their subgroup’s identity would have more favorable evaluations of the intergroup leader and perceptions of the out-subgroup if the leader confirmed their subgroup identity and/or was a blended boundary spanner. Members’ identity-uncertainty and subgroup identity validation have yet to be jointly examined in the context of intergroup leadership. Study 1 ( N = 214) showed that those with high identity centrality had more positive leader evaluations and out-subgroup perceptions. Study 2 ( N = 248) showed that those with greater subgroup identity-uncertainty who received a message from their leader that confirmed their subgroup identity had more positive out-subgroup perceptions; however, a person’s level of subgroup identity-uncertainty led to differential perceptions depending on the leader’s boundary spanning behavior. Implications and future directions are discussed.