The Ingroup as Pars Pro Toto: Projection From the Ingroup Onto the Inclusive Category as a Precursor to Social Discrimination

Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (Impact Factor: 2.52). 05/2003; 29(4):461-73. DOI: 10.1177/0146167202250913
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "For example, one study found that German participants perceived attributes associated with Germans as being more prototypical of the superordinate category " European " than were attributes associated with any other European country (Wenzel, Mummendey, Weber, & Waldzus , 2003). Another study found that both business students and psychology students perceived their own major as being more prototypical of the superordinate category " students " in general than were other majors (Wenzel et al., 2003). Consistent with the above findings, national identity research has found White Americans view American nationality in terms of the prototypical attributes of their own racial group and view racial and ethnic minority groups as peripheral to the definition of who is American (Cheryan & Monin, 2005; Devos & Banaji, 2005; Devos, Gavin, & Quintana, 2010; Devos & Ma, 2008; Yogeeswaran & Dasgupta, 2010; Yogeeswaran et al., 2011, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Three experiments integrated several theories in psychology and sociology to identify the conditions under which multiculturalism has positive versus negative effects on majority group members' attitudes and behavioral intentions toward ethnic minorities. On the basis of social cognitive construal theories, we predicted and found that construing multiculturalism in abstract terms by highlighting its broad goals reduced White Americans' prejudice toward ethnic minorities relative to a control condition, whereas construing multiculturalism in concrete terms by highlighting specific ways in which its goals can be achieved increased White Americans' prejudice relative to the same control (Experiments 1 and 2). Using social identity threat research, we found that construing multiculturalism in abstract terms decreased the extent to which diversity was seen as threatening national identity, whereas construing it in concrete terms increased the extent to which diversity was seen as threatening national identity; threat in turn fueled prejudice (Experiments 2 and 3). Perceivers' political orientation moderated the effects of multiculturalism construals on prejudicial attitudes and social distancing behavioral intentions (Experiment 3). Symbolic threat to national identity but not realistic threat to national resources mediated these effects. Collectively, these experiments demonstrate when multiculturalism leads to positive versus negative intergroup outcomes, why, and how political orientation shapes prejudice and behavioral intentions toward ethnic minorities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
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    • "It expands to the way we actually " see " and visually represent others: Germans see typical Europeans as more German looking than Portuguese looking (Imhoff, Dotsch, Bianchi, Banse, & Wigboldus, 2011). Although visual projection has been suggested to be a form of ingroup-projection, the alternative explanation that both the superordinate group and the included subgroup are construed as similar to the self (i.e., social projection or self-projection; Wenzel et al., 2003) 1 has, as yet, not been ruled out. The present research sought to fill this gap. "
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    ABSTRACT: People see their own group as more typical of a larger, superordinate category than they see other, included subgroups (ingroup-projection). This basic effect is not restricted to verbally encoded characteristics but also expands to the domain of what people think superordinate group members typically look like. Despite the robustness of the ingroup-projection phenomenon, it could be argued that it is a side effect of an even more basic process of seeing groups and individuals as similar primarily to the self (selfprojection). In the present research, the authors sought to address and rule out this potential alternative explanation of visual ingroup-projection as an artifact of self-projection to the subgroup and the superordinate group. Thirty-one participants completed three two-image, forced-choice reverse correlation image classification tasks to create subjective, prototypical images, called classification images, of (a) themselves; (b) their national ingroup (German); and (c) the larger, superordinate group (European). With the use of partial pixel correlations, the objective, unique physical similarity between pairs of classification images was calculated. Both the selfimage and the ingroup image independently predicted the superordinate group image, indicating that both self-projection and ingroup-projection contribute to visual mental representations of superordinate group faces.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Social Cognition
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    • "Consequently, subgroups differ regarding the representation of the common superordinate group. Wenzel et al. (2003) confirmed this perspective divergence by showing that psychology-and business-students had different representations of the relevant superordinate group " students in general " . While psychology students perceived more similarities between students in general and the ingroup of psychology students, business students perceived more similarities between students in general and their ingroup business students. "
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    ABSTRACT: The positive effect of perspective taking on favorable attitudes towards stigmatized individuals and outgroups is well established (Batson et al., 1997). We draw on the ingroup projection model (Mummendey & Wenzel, 1999) to better understand the processes underlying this effect. Based on their egocentric perspective, ingroup and outgroup members have different representations of the super-ordinate group (perspective divergence) so that the ingroup is perceived as more relatively prototypical of the superordinate group, leading to negative outgroup evaluation. We hypothesize that the positive effect of perspective taking on outgroup attitudes is due to a reduction of relative ingroup prototypicality. Across three studies with different manipulations of perspective taking, we found that participants who were taking the perspective of an outgroup member evaluated the outgroup more positively and were less inclined to perceive their ingroup as more relatively prototypical. The effect of perspective taking on outgroup attitudes was mediated by relative ingroup prototypicality.
    Full-text · Dataset · Nov 2013
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