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Ever wonder why we belong to so many groups: nation, ethnicity, religion, college alums, sports teams fan clubs? Most of these memberships don't provide any tangible benefits, and can demand a heavy price including financial contributions, adherence to time-consuming rituals, and limitations on freedom. Some of these group memberships can even call on us to join in a violent conflict, with a risk of injury or death. What do we get in return? Written by a psychologist, this book reveals a psychological reward for identifying with groups: perception of control. Reviewing psychological theory and research, as well as reporting original empirical studies, this book demonstrates why control is so important to us, and how groups can help us gain or restore the feeling that we are in charge or our lives.