Havana daydreaming: A study of self-consciousness and the negative reference group among Cuban Americans

Charles S Carver, Charlene Humphries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Reasoned that the Castro government in Cuba represents an important negative reference group for Cuban Americans in the US. Exp I asked 43 Cuban-American undergraduates to give their opinions on issues surrounding the liberalization of relations between Cuba and the US. As expected, opinions were more opposed to such liberalization when an ostensible representative of the Castro government was quoted as favoring it than when no mention was made of the Castro government. Exps II and III (137 Ss) tested the prediction that utilization of negative reference groups would be mediated by dispositional self-consciousness. In Exp II, Ss gave their opinions after favorable opinions had been attributed to officials of the Castro government. Opposition among these Ss was positively correlated with their public self-consciousness but was unrelated to private self-consciousness. Exp III replicated the effect of public self-consciousness when the reference group was salient but yielded an ambiguous effect for an experimental manipulation of self-focus. Findings appear to confirm the role of dispositional self-consciousness in reference-group behavior. Moreover, they appear to suggest that Ss used their opposition to the negative reference group for self-presentational purposes rather than for self-definitional purposes. (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-552
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981


  • public vs private self consciousness, opposition to negative reference group opinions, Cuban American college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Havana daydreaming: A study of self-consciousness and the negative reference group among Cuban Americans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this