Research objectives and content
It is reasonable to think that the more Europe is perceived as a meaningful entity, the more people
are likely to identify with it. We translated this common sense opinion into a precise hypothesis testable by means of an experimental methodology. We assumed the perception of the meaningfulness of Europe to be a function of the perception of its internal coherence and of its distinctiveness with respect to non-European countries. In turn, - and as our researches already demonstrated - these two processes are a function of the
social comparison activity individuals are engaged in during their everyday life. We plan to conduct a series of experiments in which these factors will be controlled with the alm of isolating those conditions propitious to a stronger identification to Europe. In line with the numerous demonstrations in the field of social influence attitude change, minority
power and the like, the ultimate goal is to show that once people define Europe as a prominent and socially significant in-group their behavior is likely to be shaped by group's (European) norms of conduct.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
By performing this research project, the applicant will deepen his knowledge in the domain of inter-group processes as well as his practice with experimental methodology (resulting in a PhD dissertation). At the same time, the training will ensure him the development of a specific competence on European identity concerns.