Subjective belonging and in-group favoritism

John A. Hunter, Michael J. Platow, Saleh Moradi, Mike Banks, Jill Hayhurst, Sarah Kafka, Genevieve Iversen, Olivia Scobie, Damian Scarf, Maurice Stringer, Kerry S. O'Brien, Ted Ruffman

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Three studies assessed the association between in-group favoritism and subjective belonging. Study 1 revealed that after New Zealanders allocated more positive resources to in-group than out-group members (i.e., Asians), they reported higher levels of belonging. Study 2 showed that when New Zealanders evaluated in-group members more positively than out-group members, they reported an increase in belonging. Study 3 examined the link between belonging and the allocation of negative resources (i.e., white noise) to in-group and out-group members amongst accepted, rejected and baseline participants. Group members who allocated more white noise to out-group than in-group members displayed elevated belonging. Relative to those in the baseline, accepted and rejected participants manifested pronounced patterns of in-group favoritism. Together, the results indicate that (a) different forms of in-group favoritism (i.e., evaluations and the allocation of positive and negative resources) are directly associated with enhanced belonging, (b) both high and low belonging can promote in-group favoritism, and (c) these relationships are not a function of personal esteem, group esteem or group identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-146
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

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