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Henri Tajfel’s ‘Minimal Group Paradigm’ In the essay, please follow the instructions as below: 1. Introduction: summarize the research methodology and results from the Minimal Group Paradigm. (100 words) 2. Explain how the results from the Minimal Group Paradigm may complement and/or challenge the understanding of other sources of intergroup conflict (e.g., scarcity of resources, competition, history). (200 words) 3. Explain influences of this research on the notion of inevitability of intergroup conflict. (200 words)Support the essay with specific references. You are to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course. ————————————————————————————————————————READINGSFiske, S. T., Gilbert, D. T., & Lindzey, G. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of social psychology (5th ed., Vol. 2). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Chapter 29, “Intergroup Bias”Dasgupta, N. (2004). Implicit ingroup favoritism, outgroup favoritism, and their behavioral manifestations. Social Justice Research, 17(2), 143–169. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.Perdue, C. W., Dovidio, J. F., Gurtman, M. B., & Tyler, R. B. (1990). Us and them: Social categorization and the process of intergroup bias. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59(3), 475–486.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. In S. Worchel & W. G. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations (The Nelson-Hall series in psychology) (pp. 7–24). Chicago, IL: Burnham. The psychology of intergroup relations by S. Worchel & W.G. Austin. Copyright 1986 by STEPHEN WORCHEL. Reprinted by permission of STEPHEN WORCHEL via the Copyright Clearance Center.Turner, J. C., & Reynolds, K. J. (2001). The social identity perspective in intergroup relations: Theories, themes, and controversies. In R. Brown & S. Gaertner (Eds.), Blackwell handbook of social psychology: Intergroup processes (pp. 133–152). Malden, MA: Blackwell.Intergroup Processes by Brown, R. & Gaertner, S., in Blackwell Handbook of Social Psychology Series. Copyright 2001 by Blackwell Publishing. Reprinted by permission of Blackwell Publishing via the Copyright Clearance Center.Wenzel, M., Mummendey, A., Weber, U., & Waldzus, S. (2003). The ingroup as pars pro toto: Projection from the ingroup onto the inclusive category as a precursor to social discrimination. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(4), 461–473. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


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Social Justice Research [sjr]
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C 2004)
Social Justice Research, Vol. 17, No. 2, June 2004 (
Implicit Ingroup Favoritism, Outgroup Favoritism,
and Their Behavioral Manifestations
Nilanjana Dasgupta1
Three broad themes that emerge from the social psychological research on unconscious or implicit prejudice and stereotypes are highlighted in this article. First,
individuals who belong to socially advantaged groups typically exhibit more implicit preference for their ingroups and bias against outgroups than do members of
socially disadvantaged groups. This research suggests that intergroup preferences
and prejudices are influenced by two different psychological forces—people’s tendency to prefer groups associated with themselves as a confirmation of their high
self-exteem versus their tendency to prefer groups valued by the mainstream culture as a confirmation of the sociopolitical order in society. Second, these implicit
prejudices and stereotypes often influence people’s judgements, decisions, and
behaviors in subtle but pernicious ways. However, the path from implicit bias to
discriminatory action is not inevitable. People’s awareness of potential bias, their
motivation and opportunity to control it, and sometimes their consciously held
beliefs can determine whether biases in the mind will manifest in action. Finally,
a new line of research suggests that implicit biases exhibited by individuals who
belong to socially disadvantaged groups towards their own group may have unintended behavioral consequences that are harmful to their ingroup and themselves.
KEY WORDS: implicit; unconscious; prejudice; stereotypes; discrimination.
In the last 50 years grassroots social justice movements dedicated to the civil
rights of historically disadvantaged groups have produced far-reaching changes in
the laws and policies that govern civil society and have also elicited concurrent
changes in social norms that guide individuals’ attitudes and beliefs (Albert and
Albert, 1984; Chong, 1991; Cruikshank, 1992; D’Emilio, 1983; Gitlin, 1987; Levy,
1992; Vaid, 1990; Williams, 1987). The notion that prejudice and discrimination
1 All
correspondence should be addressed to Nilanjana Dasgupta, Department of Psychology, Tobin
Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003; e-mail: [email protected]
C 2004 Plenum Publishing Corporation
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against disadvantaged groups, most notably African Americans, other racial/ethnic
minorities, and women, is illegitimate and unethical has become an increasingly
mainstream philosophy. These changes in American public opinion are clearly
reflected in national surveys that reveal prejudice and stereotypes have declined
steadily over the past few decades, especially toward African Americans (Brigham,
1972; Karlins et al., 1969; Maykovich, 1971, 1972; Schuman et al., 1997), women
(Huddy et al., 2000; Kluegel and Smith, 1986), and to a lesser extent, gays and
lesbians (Herek, 1991, 2002; Yang, 1997).
Despite these optimistic findings, other evidence continues to show groupbased inequality in several domains of everyday life—healthcare, housing,
education, employment, and the justice system (Badgett, 1996; Daniels, 2001;
Ellis and Riggle, 1996; Leonhardt, 2002; Portwood, 1995; Raudenbush and Kasim,
1998; Ridgeway, 1997; Rubenstein, 1996; Stohlberg, 2002). The discrepancy between increasingly tolerant self-reported attitudes in the face of enduring and
glaring disparities in people’s lived experience prompted some social psychologists to urge the development of alternative, less obtrusive, measures of attitudes
and behavior that do not rely so heavily on people’s willingness and ability to
accurately self-report their thoughts and actions, especially with regard to socially
sensitive issues like prejudice and stereotypes (Crosby et al., 1980; Gaertner and
Dovidio, 1977; Jones and Sigall, 1972; also see Nisbett and Wilson, 1977).
Serendipitously, at about the time that social psychology was searching for
new ways to capture intergroup attitudes and behavior, cognitive psychology was
witnessing the evolution of new theories of nonconscious or implicit memory and
new tools with which to measure memory without relying on individuals’ conscious
recollections of past events (Jacoby, 1991; Richardson-Klavehn and Bjork, 1988;
Roediger, 1990; Roediger and McDermott, 1993; Schacter, 1987). This body of
research together with theories and measures of semantic memory (Meyer and
Schvaneveldt, 1971, 1976; Neely, 1977; Posner and Snyder, 1975) gave rise to a
new knowledge base and tools with which to study cognition that operates without
conscious awareness and volitional control. These theories and tools were eagerly
adapted by social psychologists for the study of nonconscious or implicit social
cognition—that is, how people think and feel about social issues.2 The focus on
implicit social cognition is particularly important in the study of prejudice and
stereotyping for two reasons. First, the controversial nature of these issues raise
the possibility that people’s voluntary reports of their attitudes and behavior may be
overly determined by their desire to put their best foot forward (i.e., concerns about
impression management and self-presentation bias). Second, while self-reporting
2 Over
the years, nonconscious or implicit social cognition has been defined as thoughts, feelings, and
behavior toward social objects that are influenced by “traces of past experience” without people’s
awareness, intention, and/or control (see Bargh, 1989, 1994; Greenwald and Banaji, 1995; Kihlstrom,
1990). However, it is rare for any psychological judgment or behavior to meet all of these criteria
at the same time. Typically, psychological responses measured in research studies have been called
“implicit,” “automatic,” or “nonconscious” to the extent that at least one of the primary criteria—lack
of awareness, intention, or control—has been operational.
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Implicit Ingroup Favoritism, Outgroup Favoritism, and Their Behavioral Manifestations
their attitudes and behavior people often make a strong distinction between their
own personal attitudes and those circulating in the larger culture (“society at large
may be prejudiced against Group X, but I am not”); yet there is often a great deal
of overlap between individuals’ own mental representations of social groups and
the mainstream culture’s construal of the same groups (Banaji and Greenwald,
1994; Greenwald and Banaji, 1995; Nisbett and Wilson, 1977). Early converts
among social psychologists to this new way of thinking were Fazio, Dovidio,
Gaertner and their colleagues (Dovidio et al., 1986; Fazio et al., 1986; Gaertner and
McLaughlin, 1983) who adapted cognitive psychology’s new tools, particularly
reaction time tasks, to assess attitudes and beliefs spontaneously associated with
social groups for the study of prejudice and stereotypes respectively (for more detail
on the history of implicit social cognition, see Banaji, 2001; Banaji and Bazerman,
In the first series of such studies, Gaertner and McLaughlin (1983) investigated the nature of contemporary racial stereotypes starting with the assumption
that a stereotype, like any other cognitive representation, can be conceptualized
as a mental association between a social group (e.g., African Americans) and a
particular characteristic (e.g., athletic). One way to assess the strength of such
a mental association without relying on self-reports is to measure how quickly
and easily certain traits and attributes “pop into mind” when people see the name
or picture of a particular group. In their research Gaertner and McLaughlin used
a computerized task called semantic priming to assess how quickly people associated Black compared to White Americans with racial stereotypes that were
positive or negative. In this task, a racial label (the word “Black” or “White”)
was presented briefly on a computer screen and was rapidly replaced by a (positive or negative) word or a nonword. All negative words selected for this study
were stereotypes associated with African Americans (e.g., lazy, welfare) whereas
all positive words were stereotypes associated with White Americans (e.g., ambitious, smart). Participants’ task was simply to indicate, as quickly as possible,
whether the second stimulus presented on screen was a word or nonword. Their
speed of response was taken to be an indirect indicator of the degree to which they
associated those stimulus characteristics with African Americans relative to White
Americans. In other words, if participants thought White Americans, as a group,
were smarter than African Americans, then exposure to the label “White” (compared to “Black”) ought to activate White stereotypes in their mind, which in turn
ought to speed up their response to the word “smart” when it appeared on screen.
If, however, participants did not think White Americans were any different from
3 In this paper, I make a distinction between prejudice and stereotypes, in keeping with other researchers’
work (Ashmore and Del Boca, 1981; Fiske and Pavelchak, 1986; Greenwald and Banaji, 1995;
Hamilton and Trolier, 1986). Prejudice is defined as a negative evaluation of a group and refers to
one’s unfavorable feelings toward the group and its members (Eagly and Chaiken, 1993; Thurstone,
1931; Zajonc, 1980). A stereotype is defined as a belief and refers to characteristics thought to be
possessed by most or all members of a particular group. Whereas a prejudicial attitude implies a
negative evaluation of a group, a stereotype may involve both positive and negative beliefs.
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African Americans in terms of intelligence, then exposure to the label “White”
compared to “Black” ought not to facilitate responses to the word “smart.” Results
revealed that the speed with which participants classified positive words (“smart,”
“ambitious”) after seeing the label “White” was substantially faster than the speed
with which they classified the same words after seeing “Black.”
Follow-up studies extended this research by demonstrating that participants
were also faster at classifying negative words after “Black” compared to “White”
primes (Dovidio et al., 1986). Moreover, the degree to which they exhibited automatic racial stereotyping was unrelated to their self-reported racial attitudes
measured by traditional paper-and-pencil questionnaires. This marked the beginning of a long and productive line of research leading to greater methodological
and theoretical sophistication in the study of implicit attitudes and beliefs about a
host of groups.
Initial investigations on the nature of implicit prejudice and stereotypes focused entirely on attitudes and beliefs held by members of advantaged groups
toward members of disadvantaged groups. This lopsided research attention was
partly pragmatic given the unequal distribution of power and resources in the
hands of individuals who belonged to advantaged groups compared to disadvantaged groups. That is, negative attitudes and beliefs held by members of advantaged groups were far more likely to have a pernicious impact on the lives of
disadvantaged group members, whereas mirror image perceptions on the part of
disadvantaged group members were less likely to have the same impact. The primary prediction of the early research on implicit intergroup relations was that
people would favor their own group at the expense of other groups in terms of
their evaluations, judgments, and behavior in intergroup situations. This prediction is consistent with social identity theory which argues that when people strongly
identify with their ingroup and when their self-esteem is linked to the perceived
worthiness of their ingroup, they will tend to favor their ingroup and sometimes
derogate other outgroups (Abrams and Hogg, 1988, 1990; Bourhis, 1994; Bourhis
et al., 1997; Oakes and Turner, 1980; Rubin and Hewstone, 1998; Tajfel, 1981;
Tajfel and Turner, 1986; Turner et al., 1987).
By now almost a hundred studies have documented people’s tendency to
automatically associate positive characteristics with their ingroups more easily
than outgroups (i.e., ingroup favoritism) as well as their tendency to associate
negative characteristics with outgroups more easily than ingroups (i.e., outgroup
derogation). While many of these studies have focused on automatic attitudes
toward outgroups (particularly automatic prejudice), a significant number have
also focused on automatic beliefs about outgroups (particularly stereotypes about
those groups).
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Implicit Ingroup Favoritism, Outgroup Favoritism, and Their Behavioral Manifestations
In the case of intergroup attitudes, a host of studies have found that people’s
implicit intergroup preferences captured by indirect attitude measures reliably predict their membership in various social groups, typically those of high status. For
example, in the domain of race, White Americans, on average, show strong implicit preference for their own group and relative bias against African Americans
(Dasgupta et al., 2000; Dasgupta and Greenwald, 2001; Devine, 1989; Dovidio
et al., 1986, 1997, 2002; Fazio et al., 1995; Greenwald et al., 1998; Kawakami
et al., 1998; Lowery et al., 2001; McConnell and Leibold, 2001; Nosek et al.,
2002a; Pratto and Shih, 2000; Richeson and Ambady, 2003; Rudman et al., 2001;
von Hippel et al., 1997; Wittenbrink et al., 1997, 2001b). Similar results have
been obtained in terms of White Americans’ implicit attitudes toward other ethnic
minority groups such as Latinos (Ottaway et al., 2001; Uhlmann et al., 2002),
Jews (Rudman et al., 1999), Asians (Son Hing et al., 2002), and non-Americans
(Ashburn-Nardo et al., 2001; Devos and Banaji, 2004; Rudman et al., 1999). In
other national contexts outside the United States, parallel findings have been obtained in terms of majority group members’ attitudes toward racial/ethnic minority
groups (e.g., aborigines in Australia, Locke et al., 1994; Turkish immigrants in
Germany, Gawronski et al., 2003).
In the domain of age-related attitudes, young people, typically college students, show very strong preference for their ingroup and relative prejudice against
the elderly (Dasgupta and Greenwald, 2001; Jelenec and Steffens, 2002; Mellott
and Greenwald, 1999; Nosek et al., 2002a; Perdue and Gurtman, 1990). In the case
of attitudes toward sexual minorities, heterosexuals’ implicit attitudes toward lesbians and gay men also show strong evidence of ingroup favoritism and outgroup
bias (Banse et al., 2001; Dasgupta, 2002; Dasgupta and Rivera, 2004; Lemm,
When it comes to gender-related attitudes, the data are a little bit different
in that both men and women express implicit positive attitudes toward women
in general relative to men in general; however, women’s attitudes tend to reveal
more pro-female sentiments than men’s attitudes (Carpenter, 2001; Richeson and
Ambady, 2001; Skowronski and Lawrence, 2001). Finally, illustrating the extreme
case, even when arbitrary in- and outgroups are created in the laboratory, people
quickly develop attachments to their own group, and exhibit automatic preference
for the ingroup and relative bias against the outgroup within a very short period
of time (Ashburn-Nardo et al., 2001; DeSteno et al., 2004; Perdue et al., 1990; cf.
Brewer, 1979; Brewer and Brown, 1998).
Although the preponderance of evidence in the domain of implicit ingroup
favoritism and outgroup bias has focused on pure evaluations, there is also plenty
of evidence for the pervasiveness of stereotypic beliefs about outgroups especially when those outgroups are racial minorities (Correll et al., 2002; Devine,
1989; Devos and Banaji, 2004; Kawakami and Dovidio, 2001; Payne, 2001;
Sekaquaptewa et al., 2003; Wittenbrink et al., 1997, 2001b), the elderly (Bargh
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et al., 1996; Chasteen et al., 2002; Dijksterhuis et al., 2000; Galinsky and
Moskowitz, 2000; Kawakami et al., 2002), and women (Banaji et al., 1993; Banaji
and Greenwald, 1995; Banaji and Hardin, 1996; Blair et al., 2001; Blair and Banaji,
1996; Dasgupta and Asgari, in press; Kawakami and Dovidio, 2001; Moskowitz
et al., 1999; Nosek et al., 2002a,b; Rudman et al., 2001; Rudman and Glick, 2001).
Although the single-minded focus on implicit prejudice and stereotypes harbored by members of advantaged groups has been enormously productive in
revealing the existence of subtle and nonconscious bias despite the scarcity of
willingly expressed bias, the story is clearly not complete without considering
how members of disadvantaged groups perceive their own group relative to the
advantaged majority. A close inspection of the research reviewed above already
contains hints that individuals belonging to disadvantaged groups do not always
implicitly favor their ingroup in a mirror image fashion.
Social identity theory and most other theories on intergroup relations in social
psychology (e.g., self-categorization theory, Turner et al., 1987; social dominance
theory, Sidanius and Pratto, 1999; realistic conflict theory, Sherif, 1967, etc.) posit
that people have a strong tendency to favor their ingroup in terms of their attitudes,
beliefs, and behavior. While this is often true, people also have other reactions
to in- and outgroups particularly in the context of power and status differences
between groups. For example, system justification theory argues that people’s
intergroup attitudes and behavior may sometimes reflect the tendency to legitimize
existing social hierarchies even at the expense of personal and group interest (Jost
et al., in press; Jost and Banaji, 1994). In other words, in the case of individuals
who belong to advantaged or dominant groups, their tendency to implicitly favor
their ingroup relative to competing outgroups may be as much a function of the
desire to preserve current social hierarchies (system justifying motive) as it is the
desire to protect their self-esteem (ego-justifying motive). In the case of individuals
who belong to disadvantaged or subordinate groups, the two motivations work in
opposition—the desire to protect self-esteem should lead to ingroup favoritism
and outgroup bias, but the desire to maintain current social arrangements leads to
predictions of outgroup favoritism. Put differently, there may be two independent
sources of implicit attitudes. The first source, consistent with social identity theory,
relies on group membership. To the extent that people’s group membership is
a meaningful source of self-beliefs and self-esteem, it should promote implicit
preference for the ingroup relative to outgroups. The second source, consistent
with system justification theory, is the mainstream culture’s imposition of high
or low value on particular groups. Thus, for members of disadvantaged social
groups, implicit liking for the ingroup may sometimes be attenuated by the cultural
construal of their group, whereas for members of advantaged groups, implicit liking
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