Psy 355-W3 Activity
For this journal activity, you have been asked to lead a group discussion on the socio-psychological foundations of in-group favoritism. In your reflection, you will apply aspects of social identity theory to an authentic experience in which you consciously or unconsciously engaged in in-group favoritism. Using the Module Three Activity Template Word Document , respond to each of the following rubric criteria in 3 to 5 sentences:
· Describe this experience and the ways in which it relates to in-group favoritism.
· Describe how acceptance as a group member impacted your sense of self and identity.
· Describe the ways in which this experience influenced you to conform to group norms.
· Describe how this experience may have inadvertently promoted prejudice toward others.
· Describe how this experience demonstrates the costs and benefits of social categorization.
· Describe the ways in which stereotypical assumptions about a person’s race, ethnicity, or culture, even if not blatantly prejudiced, influence our worldview.
· Describe the strengths and limitations of social identity theory as it applies to the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusivity.
Guidelines for Submission
Submit your completed Module Three Activity Template. Sources should be cited according to APA style.
In-group favoritism, sometimes known as in-group-out-group bias, in-group bias, intergroup bias, or in-group preference, is a pattern of favoring members of one’s in-group over out-group members. This can be expressed in the evaluation of others, in the allocation of resources, and in many other ways.
This effect has been researched by many psychologists and linked to many theories related to group conflict and prejudice. The phenomenon is primarily viewed from a social psychology standpoint. Studies have shown that in-group favoritism arises as a result of the formation of cultural groups. These cultural groups can be divided based on seemingly trivial observable traits, but with time, populations grow to associate certain traits with certain behavior, increasing covariation. This then incentivizes in-group bias.
Two prominent theoretical approaches to the phenomenon of in-group favoritism are realistic conflict theory and social identity theory.
According to social identity theory,
One of the key determinants of group biases is the need to improve self-esteem. The desire to view one’s self positively is transferred onto the group, creating a tendency to view one’s own group in a positive light, and by comparison, outside groups in a negative light. That is, individuals will find a reason, no matter how insignificant, to prove to themselves why their own group is superior.
This phenomenon was pioneered and studied most extensively by Henri Tajfel, a British social psychologist who looked at the psychological root of in-group/out-group bias. To study this in the lab, Tajfel and colleagues created minimal groups (see minimal group paradigm), which occur when “complete strangers are formed into groups using the most trivial criteria imaginable”. In Tajfel’s studies, participants were split into groups by flipping a coin, and each group then was told to appreciate a certain style of painting none of the participants were familiar with when the experiment began.
What Tajfel and his colleagues discovered was that—regardless of the facts that
a) participants did not know each other,
b) their groups were completely meaningless, and
c) none of the participants had any inclination as to which “style” they like better—participants almost always “liked the members of their own group better and they rated the members of their in-group as more likely to have pleasant personalities”.
By having a more positive impression of individuals in the in-group, individuals are able to boost their own self-esteem as members of that group.
In another set of studies, done in the 1980s by Jennifer Crocker and colleagues using the minimal group paradigm, individuals with high self-esteem who suffered a threat to the self-concept exhibited greater ingroup biases than did people with low self-esteem who suffered a threat to the self-concept.
While some studies have supported this notion of a negative correlation between self-esteem and in-group bias, other researchers have found that individuals with low self-esteem showed more bias toward both in-group and out-group members.
Some studies have even shown that high-self-esteem groups showed more bias than did lower self-esteem groups This research may suggest that there is an alternative explanation and additional reasoning as to the relationship between self-esteem and in-group/out-group biases. Alternatively, it is possible that researchers have used the wrong sort of self-esteem measures to test the link between self-esteem and in-group bias (global personal self-esteem rather than specific social self-esteem).