Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 46:10 [Special Issue: Intersubjective Norms] (November 2015), pp. 1324–1327.

doi: 10.1177/0022022115605901


Copyright © 2015 SAGE. Used by permission.


Shteynberg (this issue) reviews how group attention increases the psychological prominence of the information observed in group settings, serves to better embed descriptive norms making them more dominant in people’s cognitions, and acts as an axis of group communication and cooperation. We find the research on group attention compelling and an interesting addition to this special issue on Intersubjective Norms. The findings regarding group attention suggest that it generally functions like a cognitive heuristic (i.e., an automatic process that occurs largely without people’s awareness or control). Yet, we question whether there are conditions under which individuals would not use group attention to determine descriptive norms and instead use other methods for focusing their attention (possibly moving them toward more deliberative cognitive processing). In this comment, we aim to highlight and suggest potential moderators of the phenomenon and directions for future research on this topic.

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