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Scientific article
English

The impact of ingroup favoritism on self-esteem: A normative perspective

Published inJournal of Experimental Social Psychology, vol. 71, p. 31-41
Publication date2017
Abstract

The present research examines the impact of ingroup favoritism on self-esteem. According to the self-esteem hypothesis (Abrams & Hogg, 1988), favoring the ingroup over an outgroup should lead to higher self-esteem. However, empirical tests of this hypothesis have revealed mixed results. In light of the heterogeneity of these findings, we investigate the moderating role of ingroup norms regarding intergroup discrimination. According to this normative perspective, we hypothesize that believing one has favored the ingroup increases personal self-esteem to the extent that such behavior is congruent with the ingroup norm. Three studies showed a positive impact of perceived ingroup favoritism (vs. intergroup fairness) on personal self-esteem when the ingroup norm was pro-discriminatory (Studies 1–3). However, this effect disappeared when the pro-discriminatory ingroup norm was attenuated (Study 1), and was even reversed when the ingroup norm was clearly anti-discriminatory (Studies 2–3). Further, this moderation was primarily observed when the ingroup norms were injunctive (rather than descriptive; Study 2), and among participants who highly value conformity (Study 3). These findings are discussed with regard to the classical understanding of the self-esteem hypothesis.

Keywords
  • Ingroup favoritism
  • Self-esteem
  • Ingroup norms
  • Social identity
  • Intergroup relations
Citation (ISO format)
IACOVIELLO, Vincenzo et al. The impact of ingroup favoritism on self-esteem: A normative perspective. In: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2017, vol. 71, p. 31–41. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2016.12.013
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ISSN of the journal0022-1031
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