University of Limerick
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Understanding change in social‐movement participation: the roles of social norms and group efficacy

journal contribution
posted on 2021-04-30, 13:41 authored by Elaine M. Smith, Roberto González, Cristián Frigolett
Across the globe, collective action has been a notable driver of social change. Previous research has identified numerous psychological antecedents of collective action participation, such as group efficacy. The mobilizing influence of social norms, however, has been comparatively neglected. Among a nationally representative Chilean sample (N = 3328), a three‐wave longitudinal study tested the relationship between the perceived frequency of family and friends' participation in social movements (norms of close social networks) and change in the frequency of participants' own engagement over time. Perceived efficacy of social movements to facilitate social change was tested as a mediator of this relationship. A fully constrained bidirectional cross‐lagged panel model revealed that norms of close social networks significantly predicted social‐movement participation over time. This longitudinal relationship was also significantly mediated by group efficacy. Direct reverse paths were also observed, with social‐movement participation predicting norms of close social networks over time. Considering low degrees of political participation often seen in societies, these results suggest that utilizing the normative context to promote participation in social movements may prove fruitful in mobilizing the drive for social change.



Political Psychology; 42, pp. 1037-1051


Wiley and Sons Ltd


peer-reviewed The full text of this article will not be available in ULIR until the embargo expires on the 22/02/2023

Other Funding information

Center for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies, Chilean National Foundation for Scientific and Technological Development, Interdisciplinary Center for Intercultural and Indigenous Studies


This is the peer reviewed author version of the following article: Understanding Change in Social‐Movement Participation: The Roles of Social Norms and Group Efficacy 2021 Political Psychology which has been published in final form at . This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.



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