Perceived collective continuity: seeing groups as temporally enduring entities

Fabio Sani, Mhairi Bowe, Marina Herrera

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


One of the core aspects of the human self is that of being experienced and perceived as temporally extended, as a singularity that moves across time. The inner, personal self is not the only human element that we perceive as temporally continuous; we also attribute endurance to those human groups (nations, ethnic groups, religious institutions, political parties, and so on) to which we may belong and that therefore constitute our collective self. This chapter begins with a discussion of the dimensions of perceived collective continuity (PCC) and presents a study that investigates these dimensions. Next, the relationships between PCC and group identification-related phenomena is explored, and subsequently the impact of PCC on social integration and other aspects of social well-being are investigated. Finally, two studies showing that PCC can protect people from fear of death and more generally from thoughts implying a threat to survival are presented. Although, as specified above, virtually all types of groups can be seen as having continuity through time, in all these studies either national or regional groups have been focused on.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSelf-continuity: individual and collective perspectives
PublisherPsychology Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9780805857016
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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