An Exploratory Study of the Perception of Ingroup Communication Relative to Social Representation Objects

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Abstract

Although social representations theory often assumes that communication is a condition for the existence of social representations, research rarely assesses related properties. The study aims at characterizing the perception of ingroup communication relative to topics that are potential social representation objects for a sample of Brazilian undergraduates. The participants completed single-item Likert scales assessing twelve social objects in three communication dimensions: perception of frequency of ingroup communication, perceived importance of ingroup opinion and estimated agreement with ingroup opinion. One-sample t-tests and repeated measures ANOVAs were carried out to compare the score of each topic with the dimension means and among themselves. The results showed that objects such as university course and friendship had high scores in all three dimensions and are suitable objects for basic research when communication assumptions are considered. The discussion addresses the need for preliminary characterization to assess the group-object relationship in social representations research.

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