Accounting for unequal access to higher education: the role of social identity factors

Nieuwenhuis, Marlon, Manstead, Antony S R and Easterbrook, Matthew J (2019) Accounting for unequal access to higher education: the role of social identity factors. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 22 (38). pp. 371-389. ISSN 1368-4302

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Western societies stress the potential for anyone, irrespective of social background, to improve their position within society. However, disadvantaged students face barriers in gaining a good education. Two studies in secondary schools show how perceptions of identity compatibility and anticipated fit influence students’ university choices. It was found that relatively disadvantaged students scored lower on identity compatibility, and that low scores on identity compatibility were associated with lower anticipated fit at a local selective (Study 1) or highly selective (Study 2) university. Anticipated fit, in turn, predicted the type of university to which participants wanted to apply; those who anticipated fitting in more at selective universities were more likely to apply to higher status universities. These relations were significant while controlling for academic achievement. Together, these studies suggest that social identity factors play a relevant role in explaining higher education choices among low-status group members.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Sanjeedah Choudhury
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2019 10:36
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 16:47

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