Being tolerated as a minority group member: an experimental study with virtual teams

Levi Adelman, Maykel Verkuyten*, Kumar Yogeeswaran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Research on the experience of being tolerated has focused on single events, ignoring the important question of whether the experience of being tolerated depends on previous experiences. We examined whether the experience of being tolerated has a negative impact on minority team members depending on whether they had previously been rejected or fully accepted. In a pre-registered study with 440 participants, we used a recently developed experimental paradigm to simulate workstyle minority status in virtual teams. These participants were randomly assigned to experience rejection or acceptance followed by being tolerated. Experiencing tolerance after rejection was strongly positive, reducing negative well-being, increasing positive future expectations about interactions with majority team members, and reducing people’s intention to withdraw from their teams. By contrast, experiencing tolerance after acceptance was weakly but consistently negative, with increased negative well-being, increased negative future expectations, and increased withdrawal intentions. Lastly, despite tolerance being more harmful than acceptance, that harmfulness did not translate into greater willingness to raise one’s voice and express discontent about not being valued.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 May 2024

Keywords

  • Diversity
  • minorities
  • tolerance
  • virtual teams
  • workplace

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