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Minimal Group ParadigmHenri Tajfel’s Minimal Group Paradigm stands as one of the classics of social psychology. Prior to his work, researchers assumed that intergroup conflict could only occur in situations where groups had real pasts, presents, or futures in which they competed over resources. The study results revealed that intergroup conflict could occur simply with assignment into “minimal” groups. This reality was paradigm-shaking because it forced social psychologists to wrestle with the inevitability, and maybe even the intractability, of intergroup conflict.To prepare for this Assignment, review the research methodology behind and results from the Minimal Group Paradigm. Think about how it relates to other understandings of the origins of intergroup conflict, and consider any conclusions you might draw about the inevitability of intergroup conflict based on this study.The Assignment (3–4 pages)Summarize the research methodology and results from the Minimal Group Paradigm.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).Explain influences of this research on the notion of inevitability of intergroup conflict.Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. 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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The Ingroup as Pars Pro Toto: Projection
From the Ingroup Onto the Inclusive Category
as a Precursor to Social Discrimination
Michael Wenzel
Australian National University
Amélie Mummendey
Ulrike Weber
Sven Waldzus
University of Jena, Germany
tive prescriptions that are perceived to apply in that situation. Given that, per definition, ingroup and outgroup
are perceived to be different, we assume that the processes underlying the evaluation of intergroup difference are central for an understanding of social discrimination and, conversely, a concept of intergroup
tolerance (see also Brewer, 1996).
With regard to social discrimination, the minimal
group experiments of Tajfel and his colleagues (Billig &
Tajfel, 1973; Tajfel, Billig, Bundy, & Flament, 1971) and
many studies thereafter demonstrated the role of categorization and identification in terms of social categories
for ingroup favoritism (see Brewer, 1979; Brown, 1995;
Messick & Mackie, 1989). However, as clearly formulated
in social identity theory (SIT) (Tajfel & Turner, 1979),
processes of categorization impact on intergroup behavior only in meaningful interaction with the social context. In certain contexts, ingroup and outgroup may in
fact agree on their relative status and no conflict
emerges. As Mummendey and colleagues showed, for
truly aversive discriminatory behavior to occur, categorization alone is not sufficient but rather subjective legitimation seems to be required (e.g., Mummendey et al.,
In an approach to intergroup discrimination and tolerance, it is
assumed that the outgroup’s difference from the ingroup is evaluated with reference to the prototype of the higher-order category
that includes both groups. Two correlational studies yielded evidence that (a) group members tend to perceive their ingroup as
relatively prototypical for the inclusive category (projection), (b)
members highly identified with both ingroup and inclusive category (dual identity) tend to project most, and (c) relative
prototypicality is related to negative attitudes toward the
outgroup. The latter relation was further specified in Study 3,
manipulating the valence of the inclusive category. Projection
was related to more negative attitudes toward the outgroup when
the inclusive category was primed positively but to more positive
attitudes when it was primed negatively. The meaning of dual
identities for intergroup relations is discussed.
Keywords: intergroup relations; social discrimination; self-categorization;
prototypicality; dual identity
Social psychological analyses of stereotyping and cate-
gorization processes have greatly contributed to our
understanding of intergroup relations (see Brewer &
Brown, 1998; Fiske, 1998; Oakes, Haslam, & Turner,
1994). However, once we have categorized others as different from us and ascribed certain attributes to them, in
contrast to us, what determines our evaluation of the
outgroup? Intergroup difference seems to have a Janusfaced character and can elicit negative as well as positive
reactions in us (Graumann, 1992; Mummendey, 1993).
We contend that specific differences between groups
may be evaluated differently depending on the norma-
Authors’ Note: This research was funded by the Deutsche
Forschungsgemeinschaft (Mu551/18). We would like to thank Julie
Peard for her help with article preparation. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Michael Wenzel, Research
School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra
ACT 0200, Australia; e-mail: [email protected]
PSPB, Vol. 29 No. 4, April 2003 461-473
DOI: 10.1177/0146167202250913
© 2003 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
1992; Otten, Mummendey, & Blanz, 1996; for a review,
see Mummendey & Otten, 1998). We assume that members do not simply react to mere categories but rather to
the meaning of categories, to the attributes, values, and
beliefs that they perceive to be the content of these categories. When they perceive the outgroup’s differing
attributes, values, or beliefs to be norm-deviating and
negative, they regard it as legitimate to devalue and disadvantage the outgroup. Evaluation of intergroup difference would be an essential process for social
With regard to intergroup tolerance, various models
suggest that intergroup contact can improve relations
between social groups insofar as the contact experience
counteracts the ingroup-outgroup categorization,
either through personalization (Brewer & Miller, 1984),
recategorization (Gaertner, Dovidio, Anastasio,
Bachman, & Rust, 1993), or cross-categorization
(Migdal, Hewstone, & Mullen, 1998). However, one
important problem of these models is that categories
have a social reality and may not be easily abolished in
intergroup encounters (for critical reviews, see
Hewstone, 1996; Vivian, Hewstone, & Brown, 1997).
Indeed, attempts to suppress the relevance of group
memberships may actually backfire and increase their
salience (Schofield, 1986). Hence, it seems crucial for
positive intergroup relations, and for a true model of tolerance that acknowledges intergroup difference, that
group members learn to positively evaluate the
outgroup’s differences without necessarily giving up the
ingroup’s positive distinctiveness (Hewstone & Brown,
1986). Evaluation of intergroup difference would be an
essential process for intergroup tolerance.
To better understand the process of evaluating intergroup difference, Mummendey and Wenzel (1999)
recently developed a theoretical framework based on
self-categorization theory (SCT) (Oakes et al., 1994;
Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher, & Wetherell, 1987). In
SCT, it is assumed that people use social categorizations
to define and orient themselves in a given social context
(Turner, 1987a). Social categories are hierarchically
structured and people categorize themselves at various
levels of abstraction, depending on the social context.
They may categorize themselves as individuals different
from other individuals, as members of social groups different from other social groups, or at an even higher
level of abstraction, as humans different from other species of animals. Categories of a given level of abstraction
are compared in terms of a salient superordinate category that includes them both. Thus, higher-level categories furnish relevant dimensions for comparisons
between the included lower-level categories. It is further
assumed that persons who categorize themselves in a
more inclusive way tend to perceive that self-category as
positive and regard its prototypical positions as normative in the given social context. Thus, a higher-level category also furnishes the norms and values according to
which its members and subcategories are evaluated. This
general perspective, with relevant norms and comparative dimensions being derived from salient selfcategories, has fundamental implications for an understanding of social influence (Turner, 1987b, 1991),
group cohesion (Hogg, 1987, 1992, 1993), and social
Specifically, Turner (1987a) hypothesized “that
ethnocentrism . . . depends upon the perceived
prototypicality of the ingroup in comparison with relevant outgroups (relative prototypicality) in terms of the
valued superordinate self-category that provides the
basis for the intergroup comparison” (p. 61). Thus, in
accordance with our previous discussion, the selfcategory (as such usually positively valued) in which
ingroup and outgroup are included provides the comparison dimensions and norms for relative evaluations of
both groups. The prototype of the inclusive category
constitutes the norm against which both groups are compared. The group that is more similar to the prototype of
the positively valued higher-order self-category, and thus
is more relatively prototypical for that inclusive selfcategory, will be evaluated more positively.1
This is the first assumption of SCT on which
Mummendey and Wenzel (1999) based their analysis:
Ingroup and outgroup are evaluated in terms of their
relative prototypicality for a salient inclusive selfcategory. A second relevant SCT assumption is “that selfcategories tend to be evaluated positively” (Turner,
1987a, p. 57), which has its roots in SIT (Tajfel & Turner,
1979) and its proposition that group members strive
toward a positive social identity. Mummendey and
Wenzel (1999) took these two assumptions to the logical
conclusion that group members would tend to perceive
their own group as more prototypical for the inclusive
category than the outgroup. This is also in line with
SCT’s understanding of prototypes as neither objective
nor fixed but as a subjective representation of a category
that depends on the social context as well as norms and
consensus within one’s ingroup (Oakes, Haslam, &
Turner, 1998). As such, prototypes can be subject of dispute and divergence between groups. Because both
groups want to be considered as the more (or not much
less) prototypical subgroup, group members tend to perceive their own group’s attributes as relatively
prototypical and thus project their ingroup’s attributes
onto the inclusive category. Through projection, each
group tries to increase its relative social status. This pro-
cess may be regarded as a group-level equivalent to the
well-known false consensus effect (FCE) (Ross, Greene,
& House, 1977) for which, indeed, similar explanations
in terms of self-esteem and validation of views have been
proposed (Agostinelli, Sherman, Presson, & Chassin,
1992; Marks & Miller, 1987). Because the projection process should hold for both groups, it is likely that their
members disagree on the valid representation of the
inclusive category. Thus, we hypothesize (H1) that
group members of a salient intergroup situation will perceive their ingroup to be more prototypical for the inclusive category than outgroup members perceive it to be.
We can further specify the predictions by adding two
corollaries to the two SCT assumptions. The first
assumption stated that salient inclusive self-categories
would be the background for intergroup evaluations.
That is, not any inclusive category will function as an
evaluative backdrop but rather the inclusive category has
to be a salient self-category in the given context. Members need to define themselves in terms of the inclusive
category and identify with it for it to have normative relevance (see Turner, 1987b, 1991). Similarly, the second
assumption stated that members are motivated to evaluate their ingroup positively. Again, this requires that
members indeed define themselves in the given context
as members of that group. To be motivated toward a positive social identity, “individuals must have internalized
their group membership as an aspect of their selfconcept” (Tajfel & Turner, 1979, p. 41). Taking these two
corollaries together, processes of projection should hold
in particular when there is sufficient identification with
both the sublevel ingroup and the inclusive category.
Thus, we hypothesize (H2) that group members will perceive their ingroup as relatively prototypical for the
inclusive category in particular when they are simultaneously strongly identified with their ingroup and with
the inclusive category (dual identity).
An ingroup that is perceived to be relatively
prototypical for the inclusive category (relative to the
outgroup) is considered to conform better to the relevant norms and values of the inclusive category, whereas
the outgroup is regarded as deviating from these norms
and values. Thus, directly from our first SCT assumption
follows the hypothesis (H3) that the extent to which the
ingroup is perceived to be relatively prototypical is significantly related to the relative evaluation and treatment of
the outgroup. The more relatively prototypical the
ingroup is perceived to be, the more negatively the
outgroup is evaluated and treated. All of our hypotheses
are clearly directional and will therefore be tested by
means of one-tailed significance tests (all other significance levels reported in this article that are not related to
tests of our hypotheses will be two-tailed).
In a first study, we referred to business administration
students and psychology students as subgroups of the
inclusive category students. Both student groups traditionally hold rather negative stereotypes of each other
that are typically based on their different values and attitudes concerning appearance, style, personal goals, and
so forth. Relations between the groups are not overly
marked by conflict but are relevant enough for sufficient
levels of identification. Being a student (i.e., the inclusive social category) is certainly an important part of the
students’ identities. Participants were asked about their
representations of both subgroups and the inclusive category, about their various attitudes toward the respective
outgroup, and about their degrees of identification with
their own subgroup (ingroup) and the inclusive group.
One hundred and sixty-six students participated in
the study, comprising 112 business administration students and 54 psychology students (the difference in
number of participants from these groups was simply
due to different availability). Participants had been
studying their subjects as majors for at least 2 years,
which should guarantee, overall, a sufficient degree of
identification with their subjects of study. The participants were between the ages of 20 and 35 years; 91 were
men, 75 were women. The gender proportions differed
between the two samples: Whereas only 30% of the business students were women, 76% of the psychology students were women. These proportions corresponded
approximately to the distribution of gender in the student populations. Students participated voluntarily in
the study and received for their participation a ticket for
a lottery that could win them either 50 or 25 German
The questionnaire consisted of three parts. In the first
part, participants were given a list of 24 attributes. For
this list to be balanced with regard to stereotypicality and
valence, attribute selection had been based on pretests
that asked business and psychology students to categorize given attributes as either being typical for business
students, psychology students, both groups, or neither
group and to rate their valence on scales ranging from
negative to positive. Ten attributes had been selected
that were typical and distinct for business students (2
negative), 10 attributes that were typical and distinct for
psychology students (2 negative), and 4 that were typical
for both or neither group (2 negative). The attributes
were as follows (translated from German): arrogant (–),
businesslike, career-oriented, detached, goal-oriented,
neat, political, resolute, selfish (–), successful (all stereotypical for business students); chaotic (–), creative, emotional, environmentalist, imaginative, scientific, selfcritical, sociable, social, unorganized (–) (all stereotypical for psychology students); committed, insecure (–),
open-minded, sloppy (–) (stereotypical for neither or
This list of attributes was presented three times: participants were asked to indicate the extent to which the
attributes applied to business students, psychology students, and students in general (1 = not at all, 5 = very
much). The sequence of the evaluations of business and
psychology students was randomized; students in general were always evaluated last. In the second part of the
questionnaire, participants were asked to indicate on a
number of items their attitudes toward the student
outgroup. Part three measured levels of identification
with the ingroup (business students or psychology students) and the inclusive category (students).
Prototypicality. On the basis of the attribute ascriptions,
we received an attribute profile for each social group
(business students, psychology students, and students in
general). As a standard measure of dissimilarity between
profiles (Bortz, 1993), we calculated the square root of
the sum of squared attribute differences between the
profiles of each subgroup and the inclusive category.2 We
obtained for both business and psychology students a
measure of their profile dissimilarity to students in general. The reverse of this measure reflects how similar to
students in general, or how typical for students in general, each subgroup was considered to be. Thus, we
defined a subgroup’s prototypicality for the inclusive category as the reverse of the profile dissimilarity between
this subgroup and the inclusive category. Subtracting the
ingroup’s profile dissimilarity from the outgroup’s profile dissimilarity, we obtained a measure of relative
prototypicality of the ingroup for the inclusive category.
Identification. Participants’ identification with the
inclusive category and their respective ingroup were
each measured by four items (e.g., “I identify with students [business students, psychology students]”, 1 = not
at all, 5 = very much). The identification scale proved to be
reliable both for the inclusive category (α = .80) and the
ingroup (α = .80). Scale scores were thus obtained by
averaging responses across the four items, respectively.
Intergroup attitudes. To measure attitudes toward the
outgroup in their different facets, we used items that
were constructed according to four subconcepts,
namely, sympathy (e.g., as applied to psychology [business] students, “I feel business [psychology] students to
be very likeable”), readiness to engage in contact (e.g., “I
would like to get to know more business [psychology]
students”), behavior (e.g., “When I meet somebody at a
party who is studying business [psychology], I try to have
a conversation with him/her”), and tolerance (e.g., “Psychology and business students may learn a lot from each
other”). A factor analysis revealed a strong first factor
(eigenvalue: 5.0), explaining 42% of the variance, on
which all 11 items loaded greater than .50. Hence, we did
not further differentiate between the subconcepts but
rather treated all items as indicators of a general concept
of intergroup attitudes (α = .86). Scale scores were computed by averaging responses across items.
Results and Discussion
At first, levels of identification with ingroup and inclusive category were inspected. Identifications with the
ingroup and the inclusive category were significantly
correlated with each other (r = .52, p < .01). For both selfcategories, participants indicated identifications significantly above the midpoint of the scales; for the ingroup, t(165) = 13.12, p < .01 (M = 3.78, SD = .97); for the inclusive category, t(165) = 10.42, p < .01 (M = 3.93, SD = .92). An analysis of variance with the factors participant group (business/psychology) and level of categorization (ingroup/inclusive category) showed that identification with the inclusive category was slightly stronger than identification with the ingroup, F(1, 164) = 3.29, p < .08. Also, psychology students generally indicated a stronger identification than business students, F(1, 164) = 3.70, p < .06 (for ingroup Ms = 3.98 and 3.69, for inclusive category Ms = 4.09 and 3.86, respectively). The latter result had implications for median-splits based on identification scores, relevant to our test of Hypothesis 2; namely, we used different medians for the two student groups. DIVERGENCE ON PERCEIVED PROTOTYPICALITY According to our first hypothesis, we tested whether both student groups would consid ... Purchase answer to see full attachment

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