Negotiating the minefield: social conventions surrounding group criticism and their role in explaining defensiveness (2008–2009)
If there are dysfunctional or abusive aspects of a group culture, criticism is often the first step in the process of reform. But because of its potential to cause pain, a range of social conventions surround the delivery of group criticism. This project represents the first systematic attempt to identify the 'rules of engagement' associated with group criticism, and to examine how rule violoations influence responses to criticism. The proposal will not only result in significant progress in the theoretical understanding of responses to criticism, but will also have clear applied benefits in terms of promoting non-defensive communication, and in terms of maximizing our capacity to promote positive change.