Deviant but desirable : Group variability and evaluation of atypical group members
Two studies investigated how group variability affects reactions to atypical group members. In Study 1 (N = 65) we manipulated group variability and found that an atypical group member was evaluated more positively when the group was heterogeneous than when the group was homogeneous. In Study 2 (N = 276) we also manipulated group value and found a significant interaction whereby an atypical group member was evaluated more positively when the group was homogeneous and group members valued heterogeneity, but was evaluated more negatively when the group was heterogeneous and group members valued homogeneity. The results suggest that deviant or atypical members will not inevitably be rejected by the group, but rather that reactions to deviance are shaped and guided by the dynamic relationship between how the group is perceived by its members and their ideological beliefs about what is good for the group.