In his or her social world, a person continually encounters collections of individuals in various social contexts. Sometimes a person perceives these other people to be a meaningful group; other times, as a mere aggregate of persons. What determines when a person sees other people as meaningful groups, and what are the consequences of perceiving people as a tightly knit group versus a loose collection of individuals?

In 1958, Campbell theorized about the nature of groupness, which he called entitativity. He proposed that groups could be considered meaningful entities if their members were similar and in close proximity and if they shared common goals and common outcomes. At an intuitive level, it seems obvious that individuals who are similar in some respect (e.g., skin color or ...

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