Research Reports

National Identification and Collective Emotions as Predictors of Pro-Social Attitudes Toward Islamic Minority Groups in Indonesia

Ali Mashuri*ab, Esti Zaduqistic


The present study examined the role of Indonesian Moslem majority’s national identification, collective emotions of pride and guilt in predicting their support in helping members of Islamic minority and their perceived inclusion towards this group. Data from this study (N = 182) demonstrated that, in line with our prediction, support for minority helping significantly predicted perceived inclusion. We also hypothesized and found that collective pride and collective guilt directly predicted the minority helping. Finally, national identification had significant direct effects on both collective pride and collective guilt. These findings shed light on the importance of collective emotions and national identification in giving rise to pro-social attitudes of Indonesian Moslem majority towards members of Islamic minority. Implications of the research findings were discussed with reference to theories of group-based emotion and intergroup helping, and to practical strategies Indonesian government can apply to recognize Islamic minorities.

Keywords: national identification, collective pride, collective guilt, minority helping, perceived inclusion

Europe's Journal of Psychology, 2014, Vol. 10(2), doi:10.5964/ejop.v10i2.707

Received: 2013-10-23. Accepted: 2014-03-04. Published (VoR): 2014-05-28.

Handling Editor: Vlad Glăveanu, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark

*Corresponding author at: Department of Psychology, University of Brawijaya, Jalan Veteran, Malang, 65145, Indonesia. E-mail:

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Indonesia, theoretically, is a country that supports religious pluralism, as explicitly indicated in the first principle of its national ideology Pancasila (The Five Pillars) that declares One Supreme God. This means that basically Indonesian people could maintain and express any kinds of monotheistic religions. Ironically and contradictorily, however, aggressions and persecutions by radical Islamists against Non-Moslems and even Islamic minority over the past ten years have steadily increased (Kapoor, 2013).

Shiites and Ahmadis are the most salient Islamic minorities among the majorities of Sunni Moslem in Indonesia. The estimated number of Indonesian Sunni Moslems is 200 million whereas that of Shiites and Ahmadis is 100,000 and 400,000 respectively (Budiman, 2013). Some Sunni Moslems tend to label Ahmadis and Shiites as a false Moslem due to their doctrines that are deemed as heretic. As an illustration, Ahmadis hail Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad as a prophet after Muhammad, whom Sunni Muslims believe to be the last prophet. Shiites recognize Ali as the first and the only Caliphate, whom Sunnis consider as the fourth Caliphate (Rayda, 2011). Given such Moslem majority judgment that the teachings of Shia and Ahmadiyya are deviant and blasphemous, members of these Islamic minorities find multifaceted predicaments to enjoy a normal life in Indonesia (Aritonang, 2012; Rayda, 2013). Such predicaments take form in, for example, the nationwide banning for Ahmadis and Shiites to practice their faith publicly and displacement of these members of Islamic minority groups to isolated areas after the destruction of their mosques, houses, and schools (Budiman, 2013; Hermawan, 2013). They are therefore calling for help from the Indonesian government to renovate their destroyed houses and mosques, to live in non-segregated areas (Hariyadi, 2013). However, the effectiveness of the Indonesian government to carry out such facilitation greatly depends on the support and action by members of Indonesian Moslem majority. While radical Islamists have transparently shown their opposition towards the governmental facilitation, attitudes of moderate Moslem majority in Indonesia are still understudied. To fill this void, the current study aimed to test some determinants of the feasibility of moderate Moslems to endorse the Indonesian government’s actions to help followers of Shia and Ahmadiyya and in turn, through this endorsement, to regard members of these Islamic minorities as representative Indonesian people.

Minority Inclusion [TOP]

The Ingroup Projection Model (IPM: Wenzel, Mummendey, Weber, & Waldzus, 2003) posits that negative outgroup attitudes in terms of intolerance, discrimination, and conflict in part originate from the perception of majority members that their norms, cultures, or values are the most representative or prototypical in a superordinate level of intergroup category. This projected ingroup representativeness is exclusionary, paving the way for ingroup members to disrespect minority groups’ characteristics (Wenzel, Mummendey, & Waldzus, 2007). This tenet of the projected ingroup model suitably describes how some Indonesian Moslems view the existence of Islamic minorities. Yet some Moslems in Indonesia, more particularly radical Islamists, consider that Sunni is the only true Islam. As a result, some Sunni Moslems presume that Ahmadiyya and Shiite, which have to some extents different teachings and practices, are perverts of Islam. Such a unilateral claim therefore constitutes a justification for aggressions and persecutions against members of Shi’a and Ahmadiyya.

To be more tolerant, majority members should praise the existence of minority cultures, norms, and values, by including instead of excluding these properties into a superordinate category. The recognition of this shared membership and representativeness in a superordinate category is of fundamental for intergroup harmony and solidarity to take place (Waldzus & Mummendey, 2004; Waldzus, Mummendey, Wenzel, & Weber, 2003). Inclusion of the minority into a superordinate category likewise activates a common ingroup identity (Gaertner, Dovidio, Anastasio, Bachman, & Rust, 1993), with which the majority no longer categorizes the minority as an outgroup, but as their fellow ingroup. In fact, this perceived inclusion of outgroups into a common ingroup identity has turned out to decrease intergroup biases in terms of prejudice and discrimination, which can impair harmonious intergroup relations (e.g., Gaertner et al., 1993; Gaertner, Rust, Dovidio, Bachman, & Anastasio, 1994).

Intergroup Helping and Inclusion [TOP]

Social psychological literature differentiates helping behaviors at individual, interpersonal, and intergroup levels (Penner, Dovidio, Piliavin, & Schroeder, 2005). Intergroup helping denotes categorization of ingroup as a helper and outgroup as a recipient, which can operate on the grounds of prosocial or strategic motives. Empathy and perspective-taking inspirit prosocial intergroup helping, whereas vested interests such as restoring a threatened identity, asserting power or dominance catalyze a strategic intergroup helping (van Leeuwen & Täuber, 2010).

Previous studies have also reported that intergroup helping can be a strategic medium through which ingroup members want to communicate warmth traits (i.e., friendly, sincere, helpful) as their good qualities or images to a doubting outgroup (van Leeuwen & Mashuri, 2012; van Leeuwen & Täuber, 2012) or a disadvantaged outgroup (Mashuri, Zaduqisti, & Supriyono, 2012). Through helping another group, people can also communicate their desire to maintain or preserve a positive relationship with the group. This can be the case because people regard helping in and of itself as a signal of kindness (Hopkins et al., 2007). In support of this idea, for example, van Leeuwen and Mashuri (2013) recently found that the Indonesian majority support for central government intentions to help separatist society correlated positively to their perceived inclusion of this society. This finding implies that intergroup helping is indeed a communication tool through which people want to signal their desire to have a constructive relationship with another group. Accordingly, we predicted that the more Indonesian Moslems endorsed governmental help to Shiites and Ahmadis the more they included in their mind these Islamic minority groups as a representative category of Indonesian people (Hypothesis 1).

Collective Pride, Collective Guilt, and Intergroup Helping [TOP]

Emotion can operate on individual, interpersonal, and group levels. Group-based emotions can function as a motivator and regulator of group members’ cognition, conation, and even actual behaviors in connection to social groups (Smith, Seger, & Mackie, 2007). Drawing on Self-Categorization Theory (SCT: Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher, & Wetherell, 1987), Brown, González, Zagefka, Manzi, and Čehajić (2008) explained the feasibility of group-based emotions by arguing that as individuals’ membership in social groups serve as a foundation for their self-concept, this internalization plausibly makes these individuals affectively implicated by the actions of other ingroup members. Actualization of these motivating and regulating roles of group-based emotion can occur via two mechanisms: group members’ appraisal about out-group emotions and group members’ appraisal about their own group emotions (Sun, Zagefka, & Goodwin, 2013). The focus of this study is on the second mechanism.

Collective pride is a group-based emotion which reflects a positive feeling that may arise due to two factors: people’s group typical achievements or excellence in comparison to another group (see van Leeuwen, 2007) and people’s group past or current commendable treatments of another group albeit the possibility that these people did not personally contribute to such virtue (see van Leeuwen, van Dijk, & Kaynak, 2013). We argue that collective pride might promote intergroup helping due to two rationales. First, collective pride in general reflects a positive affect or emotion (Smith & Kim, 2006), and feeling good has been found to lead people’s willingness to help others (Isen & Levin, 1972; Moore, Underwood, & Rosenhan, 1973). Second, recipients evaluate positively helping provisions that signify and affirm help providers’ pride and see this kind of helping as an act of kindness (Shorr, 1993).

Previous studies have admittedly identified that collective pride significantly generates outgroup helping. For example, van Leeuwen (2007) found that the Dutch participants were willing to provide help to the victims of the December 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, more particularly when the help touched on the Dutch national pride (i.e., water management). In the recent study, van Leeuwen et al. (2013) reported that collective pride in terms of the Dutch’s historical benevolence to resist the Nazi occupier in World War II (WWII) correlated positively with willingness to help the disadvantage group (i.e., victims of WWII).

Collective guilt is an aversive feeling that occurs when people’s group ever perpetrated or is currently perpetrating misdeeds towards another group, in spite of the possibility that these people did not individually take part in such negative actions (Wohl, Branscombe, & Klar, 2006). People may feel collective guilt prominently when they think that they have some responsibility for their group’s misdeeds (Branscombe, Slugoski, & Kappen, 2004). A well-documented finding in the literature of collective guilt is that collective guilt stemming from the group’s harmful acts toward another group indeed stirs up these people’s willingness to help the victimized group (e.g.,Brown & Čehajić, 2008; Brown et al., 2008; Halloran, 2007; Klandermans, Werner, & van Doorn, 2008). However, in all of these studies, collective guilt induces the advantaged group’s endorsement for helping the disadvantaged group, especially when the helping is connected to an affirmative action as a means of compensating the past misdeeds by the former group against the latter group. However, when helping policy is irrelevant to such compensatory action to repair the historical misdeeds, the advantaged group’s collective guilt is unrelated to support for the policy (Iyer, Leach, & Crosby, 2003).

The explanations above suggest that collective pride and collective guilt can have a unique, independent impact on intergroup helping. As pointed out by van Leeuwen et al. (2013), collective pride and collective guilt are a double-sword concept that, however, can occur simultaneously, depending on the specific context. In support of this notion, some Moslems in Indonesia feel proud of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s international achievement to receive the World Statement Award in New York in 2013 for his merit in maintaining religious tolerance and freedom of worship in Indonesia in general, in spite of his government inaction to cope with some incidents of interreligious intolerance (The Jakarta Post, 2013). As commented by the former Indonesian vice president Jusuf Kalla, the achievement particularly has to do with the Indonesian president’s success in maintaining pluralism in Indonesia despite some cases of intolerance. Members of the Shia community also have expressed their proud that the Indonesian president received the award (The Jakarta Post, 2013). At the same time, however, some Indonesian Moslems also feel guilty towards the failure of the Indonesian government to protect some members of Shi’a and Ahmadis from aggressions and persecutions by radical Islamists, which can threaten the United Nation of Indonesia Republic (Sihaloho, 2013). Drawing on these viewpoints, we predicted that the more Indonesian Moslems feel proud of the Indonesian government efforts in promoting interreligious harmony and stability the more willing they were to support for Indonesian government intentions to help Shiites and Ahmadis (Hypothesis 2). We also predicted that the more Indonesian Moslems feel guilty towards the failure of Indonesian government in preventing radical Islamists’ misdeeds against Islamic minority members the more supportive they were of the Indonesian government initiatives to help these minority members (Hypothesis 3).

National Identification and Collective Emotions [TOP]

There are multifarious social identities that people belong to, but a national identity is very typical in the sense that it is an important part of people’s identity (Schildkraut, 2011). However, religion is also vital to its believers and religious groups are among the salient buttresses of identity (Verkuyten, 2007). Both national identification and religious identification thus are salient identity that are relevant to stipulate how people react to religious issues within a country (Verkuyten, 2007; Verkuyten & Yildiz, 2007). However, we suggest that national identification is more promising than religious identification in promoting people’s positive emotions and feelings in response to religious issues.

Strong religious identification can prompt people to believe that their own group’s worldviews and practices are more superior to those of out-groups, the superiority of which then promotes extreme ingroup favoritism that hinders pro-outgroup emotions, attitudes, and behaviors (Hunsberger & Jackson, 2005). In Indonesia, as discussed above, some Sunni Moslems consider Ahmadis and Shiites as a false Moslem due to their teachings perceived as deviant. We argue that such label instead motivates Sunnis to regard Ahmadis and Shiites as an outgroup rather than an ingroup, the categorization of which makes a dichotomous polarization of “Us” (Sunni Moslems) versus “Them” (Ahmadis and Shiites) become salient. This categorization increases the tendency of Sunni Moslems to unilaterally extoll their mainstream own teachings and doctrines from which ingroup favoritism then arises and hinders this mainstream Islamic group’s positive emotions in response to issues related to Ahmadis and Shiites.

In a stark contrast, we contend that national identification potentially facilitates positive emotions and feelings towards interreligious groups. Some scholars (e.g., Blank & Schmidt, 2003; Huddy, 2004; Schatz, Staub, & Lavine, 1999) contend that national identification is a general concept of national identity, describing a positive emotional bond with a nation or subjectively internalized sense of belonging to the nation. To the extent that people strongly identify with their nation, people are more curious and sensitive to think, feel, and behave in line with the actions of a nation or country to which they belong (Mashuri, Burhan, & van Leeuwen, 2013). That said, the more people identify with a nation or a country the more likely it is that they are susceptible to group-based emotions related to certain actions of the nation (Roccas, Klar, & Liviatan, 2006).

In the lens of Social Identity Theory, social identity in general and national identity in particular serves as a source of collective self-esteem (Crocker & Luhtanen, 1990). Thus, the more people strongly identify with their nation the more they feel proud of the nation. Evidence for this idea has been shown in the study by van Leeuwen et al. (2013) in which the more the Dutch participants identified with their nation the more they felt proud of their government’s historical virtuous deeds towards the victims of WWII. In case of Indonesia, as mentioned previously, many Indonesian people including Shiites are proud of the current president’s achievement in supporting and maintaining religious pluralism in spite of the fact that religious intolerance has not been totally resolved. In line with this reasoning, we therefore predicted that the more Indonesian Moslems identify with Indonesia the more they felt proud of this country’s efforts in promoting interreligious harmony and stability (Hypothesis 4).

Prior studies have reported that national identification either negatively or positively correlates with collective guilt, depending on some specific contexts. In the study by Doosje, Branscombe, Spears, and Manstead (1998), national identification negatively correlated with feeling of a group-based guilt especially in a condition in which both negative and positive aspects of participants’ national history was made salient. In another study Doosje et al. (2006) found that national identification was unrelated to collective guilt when the past misdeeds were said as stemming from an outgroup source. However, national identification positively related to collective guilt when the historical misdeeds were said as coming from an ingroup source. Roccas et al. (2006) differentiated two modes of national identification: national identification based on general attachment to a nation and national identification based on glorification to a nation. The two modes of national identification were found to have a contrasting effect on collective guilt, wherein the first positively correlated with collective guilt for the in-group’s historical transgressions and the second negatively correlated with the guilt. All of these findings suggest that when national identification is framed as general attachment to a nation the more likely it is that this national identification positively relates to a feeling of collective guilt for the ingroup’s, but not for the outgroup’s past misdeeds. With reference to national identification as general attachment to a nation, we accordingly predicted that the more Indonesian Moslems identify with Indonesia the more they felt guilty about this country’s negative treatment toward members of Islamic minority (Hypothesis 5).

Methods [TOP]

Participants and Design [TOP]

Participants were 182 students (66 = male, 116 = female; Meanage = 19.90; SDage = 1.10; Age ranged between 17 and 23) from the Department of Psychology, University of Brawijaya. One hundred and fifty nine participants (87.4%) reported as ethnically Javanese, and twenty three of them (12.6%) belonged to ethnic groups other than Javanese. All participants admitted as a Sunni Moslem. We recruited participants voluntarily, in exchange of no rewards. Designed as a correlational study, unless otherwise indicated, we measured all variables in this study.

Procedure and Measures [TOP]

We compiled in a questionnaire scales to measure each variable in this study. Averaging the item scores on each variable was a criterion to create the scales. Calculation of the item scores was on the basis of a five-point Likert-type scale that ranges between Strongly Disagree (1) and Strongly Agree (5). A class-room was a setting in which to distribute the questionnaire. We firstly asked participants to ascertain their agreement to involve in this study by filling out an informed consent. After completing this consent, we distributed the questionnaire to participants, which comprises scales to measure national identification, collective pride, collective guilt, support for Islamic minority helping, and perceived inclusion, respectively.

The questionnaire consisted of several parts, wherein in the first part we asked participants to indicate their agreement with four items to measure National Identification, adapted from Verkuyten (2009) (e.g., “I respect the existence of Indonesia”; α = .90). Subsequently following this scale was four items to measure Collective Pride, developed by the authors (e.g., “I am proud of the Indonesian government’ efforts and achievement in maintaining interreligious harmony in Indonesia”; α = .94). The second part of the questionnaire was four items to measure Collective Guilt, developed by the authors to suit a timely anecdotal context of religious intolerance against members of Islamic minority in Indonesia (e.g., “I feel guilty toward the Indonesian government’s failure in reinforcing Human Rights for members of the Shi’a and Ahmadis in Indonesia”; α = .91). After this scale, five items followed to measure Support for Islamic Minority Helping, developed by the authors to ecologically match with recent grievances among the victimized members of the Shi’a and Ahmadis (e.g., “The Indonesian government should give legal permission for Shi’a and Ahmadis to build and use their mosques”; α = .89).The last part of the questionnaire was four items to measure Perceived Inclusion, adapted from van Leeuwen and Mashuri (2013) (e.g., “I think Shi’a and Ahmadis constitute a group that represents Indonesian people in general”; α = .80). At the end of the study, we asked participants to inform their demographic information about gender, age, ethnicity, and religion. Upon finishing, we debriefed and thanked the participants.

Results [TOP]

Preliminary Analyses [TOP]

Descriptive statistics — Table 1 demonstrated correlations among variables and the means as well standard deviations of each variable in this study. As shown in this table, demographic variable of Age had a significant effect on National Identification and Minority Helping. Gender had a significant effect only on National Identification whereas Ethnicity had no significant effect on all of the measured variables. The implication of these findings was that the effect of Gender on National Identification and that of Age on National Identification and Minority Helping should be considered in the subsequent test of hypotheses. Moreover, correlations among measured variables tended to be significant, except for the correlation between National Identification and Perceived Inclusion. Inspection of One-Sample t-test revealed that scores for each variable are high as they are significantly above the midpoint of 3, except for Collective Guilt.

Table 1

Descriptive Statistics and Correlations Among Variables in the Study

Variables 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
1. Age -- .19** .16* -.18* -.10ns -.08ns -.28** -.05ns
2. Gender -- .08ns .15* .13ns .01ns -.07ns .00ns
3. Ethnicity -- .01ns .02ns -.08ns -.13ns -.07ns
4. National Identification -- .39** .25** .20** .14ns
5. Collective Pride -- .38** .43** .23**
6. Collective Guilt -- .31** .30**
7. Minority Helping -- .39**
8. Perceived Inclusion --
Mean 4.40 3.32 3.10 3.71 3.35
SD .66 .97 .92 .80 .82
t 28.89*** 3.13ns 1.48*** 11.99*** 5.79***

Note. Correlations among variables were derived from an analysis of bivariate correlation using SPSS 18 for Windows. These correlations were based on observed scores instead of latent scores for each variable.

*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001. ns = not significant.

Convergent and discriminant validity — Assessment of validity in this study focused on construct validity, which is generally defined as the extent to which items of a scale or a test are accurately measuring psychological construct the scale or test intends to measure (Ary, Jacobs, Sorensen, & Razavieh, 2010). There are multiple approaches to assess construct validity, and we in this study focused on convergent and discriminant validity. Convergent validity refers to the degree to which items theorized to measure the same constructs should highly correlate one another. On the contrary, discriminant validity refers to the degree to which items theorized to measure different constructs should weakly correlate one another (Netemeyer, Bearden, & Sharma, 2003).

Examination of convergent and discriminant validity was using Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA: Harrington, 2008). More particularly, in terms of the CFA, we implemented two methods to assess convergent and discriminant validity, as recommended by Hatcher (1994): average variance extracted (AVE) and its squared root (ejop.v10i2.707-m1.svg). AVE is defined as the amount of variance captured by the constructs compared with the amount of variance due to measurement errors, which is mathematically formulated as the following (Fornell & Larcker, 1981):

The threshold value of acceptable convergent validity is that constructs should have AVE greater than .50 (Chin, 1998; Fornell & Larcker, 1981; Hair, Anderson, Tatham, & Black, 1995). Table 2 presented a manual calculation of AVE, wherein values of standardized factor loading (λ) for each item or indicator were drawn from path coefficients in Figure 1. As shown in this Table 2, all constructs had AVE greater than .5, which therefore confirmed their convergent validity.

Table 2

Average Variance Extracted (AVE) and Squared Root Average Variance Extracted of Each Variable in the Study

Parameters Items AVE ejop.v10i2.707-m1.svg
National Identification
λi .87 .87 .79 .81
λi2 .76 .76 .62 .66
Σλi2 2.79
(1- λi2) .24 .24 .38 .34
Σ(1- λi2) 1.23
Collective Pride
λi .83 .87 .92 .93
λi2 .69 .76 .85 .86
Σλi2 3.16
(1- λi2) .31 .24 .15 .14
Σ(1- λi2) .84
Collective Guilt
λi .84 .9 .83 .78
λi2 .71 .81 .69 .61
Σλi2 2.82
(1- λi2) .29 .19 .31 .39
Σ(1- λi2) 1.19
Minority Helping
λi .85 .88 .82 .75 .64
λi2 .72 .77 .67 .56 .41
Σλi2 3.14
(1- λi2) .28 .23 .33 .44 .59
Σ(1- λi2) 1.86
Perceived Inclusion
λi .65 .69 .82 .68
λi2 .42 .48 .67 .46
Σλi2 2.03
(1- λi2) .58 .52 .33 .54
Σ(1- λi2) 1.97

With regard to discriminant validity, the rule of thumb is that the square root of AVE of each construct should be greater than correlations among the latent constructs (Fornell & Larcker, 1981). As demonstrated in Table 3, each construct turned out to have the square root of AVE, which was presented in the diagonal elements of the table, greater than correlations among the latent constructs, which was presented in the off-diagonal elements of the table. Thus, all variables in this study lived up to criterion of good discriminant construct validity.

Table 3

Correlations of Latent Variables and Squared Root of Average Variance Extracted (AVE) of the Latent Variables in the Study

Variables 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. National Identification .84 .43*** .28*** .24** .17*
2. Collective Pride .89 .43*** .49*** .26**
3. Collective Guilt .84 .33*** .36***
4. Minority Helping .79 .44***
5. Perceived Inclusion .71

Note. Numbers in the off-diagonal element = Correlations among the latent variables. Numbers in the diagonal element = Square root of AVE.

*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.

Testing the hypothesized measurement model — We compared the hypothesized measurement model in this study with other rival models to assess its goodness of fits to the data, by assessing the Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA), the Comparative Fit Index (CFI), and the Normed Fit Index (NFI) (Kelloway, 1998). We used LISREL 8.80 (Jöreskog & Sörbom, 2007) to run the analyses. As a rule of thumb, RMSEA that has values of less than .08 and CFI and NFI that have values of .09 or greater confirm that the model specified has good fits to the data (Hu & Bentler, 1999).

The first model is a hypothesized model, specified by estimating the standard measurement model that allows all factors to co-vary (oblique five-factor model). The second model is specified by creating a new measurement model similar to the hypothesized model, except that correlations among factors are fixed to 0 (orthogonal five-factor model). The last model was specified by loading all items measuring each variable on a single latent factor (one factor model), by fixing correlations among factors to 1. As shown in Table 4, the hypothesized five-factor oblique resulted in good fits to the data than the other two rival models both in terms of RMSEA, CFI, and NFI. However, to verify that the fit of hypothesized model was indeed statistically better than the two rival models, we conducted the chi-square difference test, following a procedure by Kelloway (1998). The result revealed that the first model provided a better fit to the data than did the second model, χ2diff (7) = 88.44, p < .001, and the third model, χ2diff (7) = 1202.88, p < .001, see for the chi-square difference test.

Table 4

Comparison of Fit Indices of the First Model (Five-Factor Oblique), the Second Model (Five-Factor Orthogonal), and the Third Model (One Factor)

Models Fit Indices
Five-factor oblique 333.33 179 .07 .93 .97
Five-factor orthogonal 421.77 186 .08 .91 .95
One factor 1536.21 186 .20 .72 .75

Main Analyses [TOP]

Testing the hypothesized full model — We examined the hypotheses in this study using a full model that combines measurement and structural models. Figure 1 showed that all standardized factor loadings were significant. Overall, as shown in Table 5, the specified model yielded good fits to the data, χ2(184) = 352.95, p < .001; RMSEA = .07; NFI = .92; CFI = .96. This full model explained (see values of R2 in Figure 1) 19% variance of Perceived Inclusion, 23% of Minority Helping, 19% of Collective Pride, and 9% of Collective Guilt.

As discussed in the descriptive statistics section, Age had a significant effect on National Identification and Minority Helping while Gender had a significant effect on National Identification. To follow-up these findings, we conducted an analysis of Multiple Indicator Multiple Analysis (MIMIC: Jöreskog, 1976; Muthén, 1989). A MIMIC approach in essence resulted in a model in which the data analyzed does not need splitting on the basis of participants’ groups such as gender, age, education and so forth (Hancock, 2001). This MIMIC analysis in this study yielded two alternative models, with the first model adding the path from Age to latent variables of National Identification and Minority Helping (Alternative model 1) and the second model adding the path from Gender to latent variable of National Identification (Alternative model 2). As shown in Table 5, indices of the goodness of fits among the three models seemed relatively identical. Indeed, inspection of chi-square difference test revealed that the hypothesized model proved to be not statistically different compared to the second model in which Age included as having an effect on National Identification and Minority Helping, χ2diff (19) = 10.31, p > .05, and so did compared to the third model in which Gender included as having an effect on National Identification, χ2diff (20) = 13.63, p > .05. These findings mean that inclusion of Age and Gender in the hypothesized full model did not have significant impacts in changing goodness of fits of this model. Stated another way, we could exclude Age and Gender in the hypothesis testing.

Table 5

Comparison of Fit Indices of the Hypothesized Full Model and the Various Alternative Models

Models Fit Indices
Hypothesized full model 352.95 184 .071 .92 .96 446.95
Age included (AM 1) 363.26 203 .066 .92 .96 463.26
Gender included (AM 2) 366.58 204 .066 .92 .96 464.58
Saturated model (AM 3) 351.42 180 .073 .93 .96 462.00
Reverse path model (AM 4) 379.03 184 .077 .92 .96 473.03
Correlated criterion model (AM 5) 351.50 182 .072 .93 .96 449.50
Collective emotion precedes national identification (AM 6) 357.97 184 .072 .92 .96 451.97

Note. AM = Alternative Model.

Table 5 also demonstrated that the chi-square of the hypothesized full model turned out to be not significantly different with that of the saturated model (Alternative model 3) which added the paths from National Identification to Minority Helping and Perceived Inclusion and those from Collective Pride and Collective Guilt to Perceived Inclusion, χ2diff (4) = 1.53, p > .05. As a consequence, we could rely on the more parsimonious hypothesized model rather than the saturated model to test the main hypotheses in this study. In addition, we also examined other three rival models: (1) a reverse path model (Alternative model 4) by interchanging the mediator (Minority Helping) as an outcome variable and the outcome (Perceived Inclusion) as a mediator, (2) a correlated criterion model (Alternative model 5) by treating Minority Helping and Perceived Inclusion as correlated outcomes, and (3) a rival model specifying that collective emotion of Pride and Guilt precede National Identification (Alternative model 6). Because the hypothesized full model and these three rival models are not nested, for the model comparison we used Akaike’s Information Criterion (AIC), with lower AIC indicating a better fit (Burnham & Anderson, 2004). As shown in Table 5, the AIC value of the hypothesized full model was lower than that of the three rival models. This result confirmed that the hypothesized full model had better fits to the data than the alternative model 4, 5, and 6.

As shown in Figure 1, standardized coefficients of all hypothesized paths were significant (p < .001). National Identification had significant direct effects on Collective Pride, β = .44, p < .001, and Collective Guilt, β = .30, p < .001. Collective Pride proved to have a significant effect on Minority Helping, β = .43, p < .001, and so did Collective Guilt, β = .17, p < .001. The last direct effect was Minority Helping on Perceived Inclusion, β = .44, p < .001. All of these findings therefore corroborated each of the hypotheses specified in this study (Hypothesis 1 to Hypothesis 5).

Figure 1

Full model of the relationships among perceived inclusion, minority helping, collective pride, collective guilt, and national identification. Numbers in the model are standardized path coefficients.

Note. IDENT1 – IDENT4 = Items of National Identification. PRIDE1 – PRIDE4 = Items of Collective Pride. GUILT1 – GUILT4 = Items of Collective Guilt. HELP1 – HELP5 = Items of Minority Helping. INCLU1 – INCLU4 = Items of Perceived Inclusion.

***p < .001.

Discussion [TOP]

This current study confirmed the prediction that Indonesian Moslems’ support for governmental helping to members of Shia and Ahmadiyya associated positively with their perceived inclusion of these Islamic minority groups as a representative category of Indonesian people. Collective emotions of pride and guilt also proved to directly predict the support for the minority helping. Finally, as expected, Indonesian Moslems’ national identification had a direct impact on collective pride and collective guilt, separately.

The finding in this study that helping to members of the Shia and Ahmadis elicits perceived inclusion of these Islamic minority groups corroborates a communicative nature of intergroup helping through which people want to signal or communicate a desire to establish a positive relationship with another group (van Leeuwen & Mashuri, 2013; van Leeuwen & Täuber, 2012). This implies that an image of intergroup helping as a strategic motive is not always negative, as is the case in helping another group to make the group become more dependent (Nadler, Harpaz-Gorodeisky, & Ben-David, 2009) or appear incompetent (Gilbert & Silvera, 1996). Members of the majority group’s perception to include members of minority group into a super-ordinate category in and of itself bears appreciation and recognition by the first group to regard the latter group as having prototypical characteristics in the superordinate category. From this process, members of the majority group will not evaluate members of the minority group as inferior, deficient, and non-normative. Rather, majority groups’ perceived inclusion of disadvantaged groups in the context of intergroup helping denotes that the former groups appreciate the existence of the latter group within a more inclusive category of a nation (van Leeuwen & Mashuri, 2013). Appreciations by the majority group to perceptually or cognitively include the minority group into a superordinate category in turn can minimize outgroup devaluation in the forms of discrimination and intolerance (Mummendey & Wenzel, 1999). Moreover, by respecting and recognizing a subgroup’s distinctiveness and its valued contribution to a superordinate group, harmonious and cooperative relations among subgroups in the superordinate group can be more readily achieved (Hornsey & Hogg, 2000).

The operationalization of collective pride in this study builds on the Indonesian government’s positive efforts in preserving and maintaining interreligious pluralism and harmony in the past. The role of this kind of collective pride in directly predicting minority helping therefore complements the study by van Leeuwen et al. (2013). As argued and found by these researchers, the impact of such collective pride on outgroup helping to a disadvantaged group is mediated by the activation of empathy towards this group. This observation thus is of fundamental importance for widening the horizon of understanding potential precursors of empathy and intergroup helping, wherein these pro-social behaviors are not only likely activated by an outgroup-focused orientation in terms of perspective-taking (e.g., Batson, Chang, Orr, & Rowland, 2002; Mashuri, Hasanah, & Rahmawati, 2013; Mashuri et al., 2012; Stürmer, Snyder, Davis, & Maitner, 2009) but also a superordinate-focused orientation in terms of common identity (e.g., Levine, Prosser, Evans, & Reicher, 2005; Nadler et al., 2009) or collective pride as found in this study.

The finding in this study that collective guilt significantly predicted minority helping substantiates the Needs-Based Model of Reconciliation (Shnabel & Nadler, 2008). According to the model, disadvantaged groups as the victim and dominant groups as the perpetrators in intergroup conflicts have asymmetrical compensatory motivations (Shnabel, Nadler, Ullrich, Dovidio, & Carmi, 2009). Victims, on one hand, typically experience an enhanced need for empowerment and are motivated to restore their sense of power by, for example, regaining their respect, sense of competence, status, and security. Perpetrators, on the other hand, experience an enhanced need for social acceptance and are motivated to restore their impaired moral image. Indeed, some studies have reported that ingroup’s willingness to help outgroup, who has negative stereotypes about the ingroup, reflects a strategic, communicative motive of ingroup to refute such negative meta-stereotypes (Hopkins et al., 2007; van Leeuwen & Mashuri, 2012; van Leeuwen & Täuber, 2012).

Another observation in this study that national identification correlates positively with collective pride and collective guilt confirms the rationale of ‘group identity lens model’ (Turner & Reynolds, 2001). This model postulates that social identification provides people with a medium through which people perceive and make a meaning of the world. Social identification leads people to be more sensitive and more concerned with anything that could be beneficial or harmful to their group. Parallel with the findings in this study, the more Indonesian Moslems identify with Indonesia the more they feel proud of the Indonesian government’s positive achievements in maintaining interreligious pluralism and harmony, which is possibly beneficial to elevate the image of Indonesia as a multicultural country. In a similar vein, the more Indonesian Moslems identify with Indonesia the more they feel guilty of Indonesian government‘s negative actions in treating members of Shi’a and Ahmadis, which is potentially capable of threatening the multicultural image of Indonesia and the integrity of the United Nation of Indonesia Republic.

A full model specified in this study proved to be better than various rival models which may challenge the plausibility of both theoretical and methodological rationales constructed to support the hypothesized model. First, we found that the hypothesized model is as better as the two rival models that incorporated the effects of either age or gender. These findings signify that age and gender do not necessitate to be considered in the model despite the significant effects of both demographic variables on national identification or minority helping. Second, the fit indexes of the hypothesized model are as better as those of a nested, saturated model. Implicatively, the hypothesized model that is more parsimonious than the saturated model could be relied to test the main hypotheses in this study. Third, the hypothesized model turned out to be better than the rival model specifying a reverse path in which perceived inclusion precedes minority helping. Fourth, the hypothesized model is likewise better than another rival model specifying minority helping and perceived inclusion as correlated criterion variables. These last two findings substantiate the theoretical rationales in this study that intergroup helping can serve as a strategic medium through which people want to communicate their desire to maintain a positive relation with other groups in terms of including these groups as a representative category within a nation. In the lens of this communicative nature of intergroup helping, helping provision precedes perceived inclusion and not the other way around. Finally, we also found that the hypothesized model is better than a rival model specifying that collective pride and guilt assumed to precede national identification. This finding corroborates the theoretical rationales in this study that national identification is a source of self-esteem that facilitates the emergence of a collective feeling of pride and guilt.

Study Limitations [TOP]

Some limitations in this study are noteworthy and merit discussing. First, the role of support for governmental helping to Islamic minorities of Shiites and Ahmadis in promoting perceived inclusion of these groups, as discussed earlier, underlines the communicative nature of intergroup helping. However, it is still unclear whether such communicative nature of intergroup helping operates at the group level or individual level. The argumentation is that helping in this study is indirect, in the sense that it is the Indonesian government and not the participants themselves who becomes the agent or the actor of the helping provision. Future studies therefore may also differentiate and measure direct helpings and indirect helpings to ascertain that communicative intergroup helping feasibly occurs at the individual level (see van Leeuwen & Täuber, 2012) and group level. Communicative nature of intergroup helping is channeled more prominently to a relevant and not an irrelevant target (Hopkins et al., 2007; van Leeuwen & Mashuri, 2012, 2013). Future studies therefore may also measure perceived inclusion of minority groups other than Shi’a and Ahmadis to verify this notion. In addition, intergroup helping in this study is operationalized as a form of affirmative action to compensate the failure of Indonesian government to find solutions for predicaments and hardships experienced by members of Shia and Ahmadiyya. That such affirmative helping is significantly predicted by collective guilt in this study is in support of the previous empirical findings. However, to verify that collective guilt indeed specifically predicts compensatory intergroup helping, future studies thus may measure a non-compensatory intergroup helping and examine how this intergroup helping may or may not be predicted by collective guilt.

Collective pride in this study is defined on the grounds of the Indonesian government achievement in preserving and maintaining interreligious harmony. However, collective pride may also stem from competitive achievements or excellence in the domains of sports, politics, history, culture, or economy, which generally triggers ethnocentrism and negative out-group attitudes (Müller-Peters, 1998). Accordingly, a future study may address this issue by distinguishing non-competitive collective pride and competitive collective pride, and connect each of these collective prides to minority helping. Third, national identification in this study refers to general attachment to a nation that, in line with findings in the previous studies, correlates positively with collective guilt. As empirically investigated by Roccas et al. (2006), national identification can also take shape in glorification to a nation that negatively correlates with collective guilt. Moreover, we suggest that Islamic identification can be a salient identity the same as national identification on the religious issues within a country but may have impacts on elevating negative intergroup emotions and attitudes in response to the issues. In the study by Licata, Klein, Saade, Azzi, and Branscombe (2012) for example, religious identification among the youth of Maronite Christian Lebanese predicted negative intergroup attitudes towards Moslem Lebanese in the context of conflict in Lebanon. Taken together, future studies may employ the two modes of national identification (i.e., attachment to a nation and glorification to a nation) together with Islamic identification to examine how these various identifications have differential associations with collective emotions, minority helping, and perceived inclusion.

Fifth, in this study we only used the Javanese Moslems as participants, which are the majority group in Indonesia both in terms of the population number and political power (Suryadinata, Arifin, & Ananta, 2003). Since it is more common that a nation state is simply an extension of majority group and a marginalization of minority group, thus the former group tends to more strongly identify with the nation than the latter group (Staerklé, Sidanius, Green, & Molina, 2010). A follow-up study thus may recruit non-Javanese Moslems in Indonesia as participants, to test a consistency of empirical findings in this study using, for example, a multi-level analysis. Sixth, as this study is correlational in the sense that all variables are measured instead of manipulated, a causal relationship between the variables thus cannot be assumed. Moreover, Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is an insufficient and inappropriate analysis to claim causal effects (Kelloway, 1998), despite the SEM-based findings in this study that the model specified resulted in good fits to the data better than all proposed rival models. Accordingly, future studies could test causal relationships by manipulating national identification, collective pride, and collective guilt and examine the effects of these manipulated variables on minority helping and perceived inclusion. National identification could be manipulated using a paradigm by Tarrant, Calitri, and Weston (2012) whereas collective pride and collective guilt could be manipulated using a paradigm by van Leeuwen et al. (2013). Finally, bearing in mind that self-report measures in the social science research are basically susceptible to social desirability bias or responding (van de Mortel, 2008), future studies may employ social desirability scale. If found that social desirability scale correlates significantly with one or more measured variables, to cope with social desirability bias, then the effect of the social desirability must be controlled (Nederhof, 1985).

Practical Implications [TOP]

We proposed some practical implications in this study. First, the Indonesian government needs to be more forceful in protecting religious minorities from the increasing trend of intolerance and violence (“Indonesia urged to tackle religious intolerance,” 2013). The realization of this action is very urgent to cope with the growing radicalization of Islamists that target members of Islamic minorities. One reason that makes the Indonesian government half-hearted to give the best solutions for Ahmadis and Shiites is the fear that the Indonesian Sunni majority may interpret such action as non-Islamic (Aritonang, 2013). However, findings in this study that support of moderate Sunni Moslems for the Indonesian government actions to help members of Ahmadiyya and Shia and their perceived inclusion towards these Islamic minority groups are high assert that the Indonesian government reason is illegitimate. Such reason may be true for small number of Islamist radical groups but untrue for the moderate Sunni Moslems in Indonesia. However, to convince the Indonesian government that the implementation of Islamic minority helping is indeed feasible, the moderate Sunni Moslems need to translate their perceived, verbal supports into concrete actions such as a massive demonstration to oppose small portion, but very dangerous, radical Islamists on the issue of religious tolerance and to express their agreement with the helping. But herein then lies a problem because moderate Sunni Moslem majority in Indonesia tend to be silent and dormant in opposing the radicalization (Rogers, 2012). Such passivity is also prevalent when it comes to do real actions to help Ahmadis and Shiites in spite of exemplary actions by some elite Moslem activists to help, in a sporadic and small scale, Shiites in East Java, Indonesia (Hariyadi, 2012).

Second, the finding in this study that Indonesian Sunni Moslems’ national identification boosts collective pride and guilt and in turn, these group-based emotions give rise to these Islamic majority groups’ endorsement for minority helping and inclusion vividly reflects the importance of national identification in promoting peaceful responses to deal with issues of Ahmadiyya and Shia in Indonesia. The Indonesian government therefore should find the best ways to internalize in the hearts and minds of Indonesian people in general and Indonesian Moslems in particular the importance of Indonesian national identity. One of these ways can be inculcating the inclusive and pluralist ideology Pancasila and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) as the core spirit of the Indonesian secular national identity into academic curriculum in all levels of education, which has promising potential to promote religious tolerance in Indonesia (Christy & Daslani, 2012). This program might be worthwhile for preventing the Indonesian Moslems from espousing the ideology of Islamist radicalism that has steadily increased over the past decade (Bachtiar, 2013) or the growing implementation of an exclusive Islamic law (Sharia) in many Indonesian provincial districts (Cochrane, 2013), both of which can instead exacerbate religious intolerance.

Funding [TOP]

The authors have no funding to report.

Competing Interests [TOP]

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Acknowledgments [TOP]

The authors would like to thank an anonymous English-native speaker who has been kindly willing to help refining the final version of this article, which is particularly related to the grammar.

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Appendix [TOP] [TOP]

Items of National Identification Scale [TOP]

  1. I am proud of being an Indonesian (IDENT1)

  2. I feel happy to be an Indonesian (IDENT2)

  3. I respect the existence of Indonesia (IDENT3)

  4. I am not reluctant to recognize that I am an Indonesian (IDENT4)

Items of Collective Pride Scale [TOP]

  1. I am proud of the Indonesian government’ efforts and achievement in maintaining interreligious harmony in Indonesia (PRIDE1)

  2. I am proud of the Indonesian government’s ability to maintain and protect religious minority groups in Indonesia (PRIDE2)

  3. I am proud of the Indonesian government’s efforts in maintaining interreligious tolerance in Indonesia (PRIDE3)

  4. I am proud of the Indonesian government’s ability to maintain a conducive social stability in the dynamics of interreligious relations in Indonesia (PRIDE4)

Items of Collective Guilt Scale [TOP]

  1. I feel guilty toward the Indonesian government’s failure in reinforcing Human Rights for members of Shi’a and Ahmadis in Indonesia (GUILT1)

  2. I feel guilty toward a series of Human Right violations against members of Shi’a and Ahmadis in Indonesia (GUILT2)

  3. I feel guilty toward the growing violent actions of certain Islamic groups against members of Shi’a and Ahmadis (GUILT3)

  4. I feel guilty toward insecurity felt and experienced by members of Shi’a and Ahmadis in Indonesia (GUILT4)

Items of Islamic Minority Helping [TOP]

  1. The Indonesian government should give legal permission for Shi’a and Ahmadis to build and use their mosques (HELP1)

  2. The Indonesian government should protect Shi’a and Ahmadis to conduct their worships (HELP2)

  3. The Indonesian government should protect Shi’a and Ahmadis to live together with other Islamic groups (HELP3)

  4. The Indonesian government should give legal permission for Shi’a and Ahmadis to establish their educational institutions (HELP4)

  5. The Indonesian government should firmly punish any people who ban Shi’a and Ahmadis to pray in their mosque (HELP5)

Items of Perceived Inclusion Scale [TOP]

  1. I think that Shi’a and Ahmadis constitute a group that represents Indonesian people in general (INCLU1)

  2. I think that Shi’a and Ahmadis are very contributive of coloring the Indonesian diversity (INCLU2)

  3. I think that Shi’a and Ahmadis are as representative as majority groups in Indonesia INCLU3)

  4. I perceive that Shi’a and Ahmadis are a salient group although living in isolated areas in Indonesia (INCLU4)

About the Authors [TOP]

Ali Mashuri Msc is a senior lecturer at the Department of Psychology, University of Brawijaya, Indonesia, who is currently undertaking PhD at the Department of Social and Organizational Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is interested in investigating several topics in social psychology including intergroup helping, separatism conflict, belief in conspiracy theories, and multiculturalism.

Dr. Esti Zaduqisti is a head in the Department of Islamic Counseling, Islamic University of Pekalongan (STAIN Pekalongan), Indonesia, who focuses her research mainly on Islamic inclusiveness and problem-based learning.

Citing articles (via Crossref)

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  • Ali Mashuri, Esti Zaduqisti, Fitri Sukmawati, Halimatus Sakdiah (2017)
    The Effect of a Majority Group’s Perspective-Taking on Minority Helping
    Psychological Studies, 62(1), p. 60(ff.)
    doi: 10.1007/s12646-017-0386-x