Nanyang Technological University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Collective beliefs about the values that are widely shared among members of a group are important constituents of the normative shared reality in the group. In two studies, we examined how (a) the circulation of a narrative that resonates with intersubjectively important values and (b) communication that threatens the normative shared reality affect people's culturally motivated evaluative responses, and their implications for the maintenance of normative shared reality. Study 1 showed that an actor received the most positive evaluation when a narrative about him was widely circulated, when his behavior signaled the central value of American culture, and when he was perceived as a symbol of American culture. Study 2 showed that formulating a communicative message that denounces the normative shared reality of a culture can elicit more positive evaluation of the culture, leading to a "saying is disbelieving" effect. The results of this research extended shared reality research, and have implications for understanding the role of collective beliefs in the characterization and maintenance of culture.
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