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The Common Ingroup Identity Model: Recategorization and the Reduction of Intergroup Bias

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Abstract

This chapter introduces the common ingroup identity model as a means of reducing intergroup bias. This model proposes that bias can be reduced by factors that transform members' perceptions of group boundaries from “us” and “them” to a more inclusive “we”. From this perspective, several features specified by the contact hypothesis (e.g. co-operative interaction) facilitate more harmonious intergroup interactions, at least in part, because they contribute to the development of a common ingroup identity. In this chapter, we describe laboratory and field studies that are supportive of the model; we also relate the model to earlier work on aversive racism.
... In particular, the comparison between fans of sport and fans of Disney Theme Parks revealed individuals that self-identified as sport fans reported more negative views toward a rival team than did fans of Disney Theme Parks toward the Universal Theme Parks brand . Further, individuals that identified as being a fan of sport and the Disney Theme Parks reported more positive views and behaviors toward both the relative rival sport team and the Universal Theme Parks brand than did individuals that reported being a fan of only a sport team or the Disney Theme Parks, suggesting that the common ingroup was present among group members (Gaertner et al., 1993). This investigation was followed up by comparisons between fans of sport and fans of Marvel and DC comics (Havard et al., 2020), online gaming (Havard, Fuller, & Padhye, 2021), Xbox and Playstation gaming consoles (Havard et al., 2021d), direct-to-consumer streaming services , Apple and Samsung mobile phones brands , Star Wars and Star Trek science fiction brands , and politics (Havard et al., 2022). ...
... Regarding the common in-group hypothesis (Gaertner et al., 1993), the current study's finding that being a fan of both sport and theme parks was correlated with higher identification with an individual's favorite theme park brand; this was supportive of previous research (e.g., Havard, Grieve et al., 2020). It is interesting that the common in-group theory did not influence significant differences in the way sport fans viewed their favorite and rival brands and out-group members. ...
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The current study investigated how group members react to favorite and rival brands among sport teams and theme parks. Specifically, sport team fans' perceptions of favorite and rival brands were compared to that of theme park fans. Results showed that fans of sport teams reported more positivity toward their favorite brands and more negativity toward their rival brands than did fans of theme parks. Additionally, identifying as a fan of both a sport team and theme parks influenced more positive attitudes toward the favorite theme park brand. Finally, the current study places the group member behavior of theme park fans in the Hierarchy of Out-group Derogation (HOD) and Out-group Derogation Spectrum (ODS) using the Group Behavior Composite (GBC, Havard, Grieve, & Peetz, 2021). Implications for research and practice are discussed, along with future research avenues.
... A more optimal strategy is to carefully combine values and relevant group identities in campaign messages. The research on politicised identity (Simon & 6 Klandermans, 2001), as well as common ingroup identity (Gaertner et al., 1993), suggests that movements should align their cause with the broader social context to mobilise greater public support. For instance, a student movement fighting against budget cuts may mobilise greater support if it stresses how investment in education improves society as a whole, rather than by arguing how students' rights have been transgressed (Kutlaca et al., 2016). ...
... Exaggerated perceptions of intergroup dissimilarity could heighten ingroup preferential tendencies and undermine willingness to cooperate with outgroup members to promote gun safety policies [21,22]. Additionally, these processes could heighten intergroup animosity [23]. ...
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Past research finds that a majority of gun and non-gun owners support key gun safety policies, yet gun owners tend to underestimate other gun owners' support for these policies. We predicted that these misperceptions of support might lead gun owners to view non-gun owners as being less similar to themselves, which might undermine intergroup cooperation to promote gun safety policies and fuel intergroup animosity. Importantly, we also predicted that correcting these misperceptions would be an effective way to reduce intergroup division and enhance intergroup cooperation. We tested these predictions across two studies in which participants were randomly assigned to read information designed to correct misperceptions of gun owner support or to read other, control information. Across both studies, we find that correcting gun owners' misperceptions of gun owner support for gun safety policies leads to greater perceptions of identity overlap between gun and non-gun owners, greater willingness to work with each other to promote gun safety policies, and less negative affect towards each other. This suggests that correcting gun owner misperceptions of gun owners' support for gun safety policies might be an effective intervention to facilitate intergroup cooperation to promote these policies. Therefore, efforts to promote gun safety policies might benefit from educating gun owners about the degree of support for these policies that already exists among gun owners. Doing so might present a simple and cost-effective way to mobilize gun owners in support of these policies.
... The Common Ingroup Identity Model proposes that re-categorization of ingroup and outgroup members into one superordinate category can reduce intergroup hostility and promote prosocial responses towards former outgroup members (Gaertner et al., 1989(Gaertner et al., , 1993Gaertner & Dovidio, 2000, 2012Wohl & Branscombe, 2005). Vollhardt (2015) suggested that common categorization based on victimization may be more influential than other possible categorizations. ...
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Collective victimization can lead to competitiveness and reduced willingness to act on behalf of other victimized groups, but in some cases increases prosocial responses. We propose the concept of victim category accessibility (VCA) as one explanation for different reactions to victimization. Assuming that ‘victims’ is one among many categories into which individuals classify themselves and others, high VCA should increase the common categorization of ingroup and outgroup members as victims and increase prosocial responses towards victimized outgroups. Conversely, low VCA should increase the difficulty of identifying commonalities between ingroup and outgroup victims and reduce prosocial responses. In three studies, we develop a novel measure of VCA based on the Indirect Category Accessibility Task and demonstrate its association with willingness to act on behalf of victimized outgroups, but not ingroup members, beyond self‐reported beliefs about victimization. The findings suggest a key role for VCA in understanding prosocial responses towards victimized outgroups.
... Our findings also suggest some avenues for advancing prejudice reduction interventions. The majority of prejudice reduction models-for example, intergroup contact (Pettigrew, 1998), group norm theory (Crandall et al., 2002), common ingroup identity (Gaertner et al., 1993)-target prejudice toward a specific group (Paluck & Green, 2009). The secondary transfer effect of intergroup contact usually extends to similar, but not dissimilar outgroups (Harwood et al., 2011). ...
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Ingroup bias is often treated as the default outcome of intergroup comparisons. We argue that the mechanisms of impression formation depend on what information people infer from groups. We differentiate between belief-indicative groups that are more informative of beliefs and affect attitudes through ingroup bias and status-indicative groups that are more informative of status and affect attitudes through a preference for higher status. In a cross-cultural factorial experiment ( N total = 1,281), we demonstrate that when information about targets’ multiple group memberships is available, belief-indicative groups affect attitudes via ingroup bias, whereas status-indicative groups—via preference for higher status. These effects were moderated by social-structural context. In two follow-up studies ( N total = 451), we develop and validate a measure of belief- and status-indicativeness (BISI) of groups. BISI showed expected correlations with related constructs of entitativity and essentialism. Belief-indicativeness of groups was a better predictor of ingroup bias than entitativity and essentialism.
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Racially marginalized communities are socially and politically active, yet there is limited work that examines the psychological forces underlying how People of Color engage in cross-racial solidarity and collective action. We propose a model of politicized racial identity and collective action to Asian American participation in own-group collective action and African American collective action. In Study 1, we tested the model using correlational data. In Study 2, we used an experiment to explore whether politicized identities predict collective action. Results support the relation between politicized identities and collective action. Politicized Person of Color identity predicted Asian American engagement in both own-group-oriented collective action (Study 2) and African American-oriented (Study 1, Study 2) collective action. Further, politicized Asian American identity predicted Asian American engagement in own-group collective action (Study 1). These findings provide empirical evidence for the role of politicized identities in predicting collective action, including cross-racial solidarity with African Americans.
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The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally shifted the way human beings interact, both as individuals and groups, in the face of such a widespread outbreak. This paper seeks to investigate the effects of COVID-19 on intergroup emotions and attitudes within an intractable intergroup conflict, specifically, through the lens of the Korean conflict. Using a two-wave, cross-sectional design, this study was able to track the profound psychological changes in intergroup emotions and attitudes both prior to the pandemic and during its onslaught. Results of these two wave representative samples show that South Korean citizens demonstrated higher levels of fear of their neighbors in North Korea after the outbreak of COVID-19 than before. In turn, this led to increased societal support of hostile government policies towards North Koreans. Conversely, the same participants exhibited higher levels of empathy towards North Koreans during the pandemic, which led to a higher willingness to collaborate with their outgroup. This dual effect on intergroup emotions within intractable conflicts brings forth new avenues from which societies may be able to restrain the destructive influence of the COVID-19 threat on intergroup relations — as well as harvesting its constructive potential for reconciling warring intergroup relations.
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This article explores how boundary making proceeds after protracted conflict has ended. Drawing on an interview and focus group study in two local areas in Northern Ireland, we identify the diverse forms of everyday boundary work amongst moderates who distance from the ethno‐political blocs: everyday universalism, agonism, transformation and cosmopolitanism. Each overcomes closed exclusivist boundaries and identity oppositions, thus providing a clear contrast with the overt political contention and polarization that has followed Brexit in Northern Ireland. Our research shows the internal shape and diversity of the moderate constituency who support peace‐building and a less‐polarized politics. It also offers an answer to the question how such everyday openness coexists with continued political polarization. We trace the different political perspectives associated with each form of boundary making and argue that this hinders political cohesion amongst moderates.
Chapter
This chapter examines some of the literature demonstrating an impact of affect on social behavior. It will consider the influence of affect on cognition in an attempt to further understand on the way cognitive processes may mediate the effect of feelings on social behavior. The chapter describes the recent works suggesting an influence of positive affect on flexibility in cognitive organization (that is, in the perceived relatedness of ideas) and the implications of this effect for social interaction. The goal of this research is to expand the understanding of social behavior and the factors, such as affect, that influence interaction among people. Another has been to extend the knowledge of affect, both as one of these determinants of social behavior and in its own right. And a third has been to increase the understanding of cognitive processes, especially as they play a role in social interaction. Most recently, cognitive and social psychologists have investigated ways in which affective factors may participate in cognitive processes (not just interrupt them) and have begun to include affect as a factor in more comprehensive models of cognition. The research described in the chapter has focused primarily on feelings rather than intense emotion, because feelings are probably the most frequent affective experiences. The chapter focuses primarily on positive affect.
Chapter
This chapter presents implications for creations and reduction of intergroup bias. It presents the observation that persons organize their social environment by categorizing themselves and others into groups. Categorization serves two functions, enables to simplify the present social environment and to predict future social behavior. Although reliance on categories is efficient, there is a risk error when using a category based on phenotypic similarities to infer genotypic properties. (Thus, members of a group may share similar opinions on matters relevant to the group but that similarity may not reflect an underlying similarity of motives or dispositions.) Categorizing others into ingroups and outgroups produces a set of consistent and quite logical effects, including assumptions of similarity within and dissimilarity between groups, assumed homogeneity of the outgroup, and overreliance on information that supports these assumptions. Further, categorization leads to intergroup comparisons and ingroup favoritism over outgroups even when no obvious justifications are present for bias.