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Minimal Group Experiments

  1. Robert Kurzban

Published Online: 15 JAN 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470018860.s00710

Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science

Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science

How to Cite

Kurzban, R. 2006. Minimal Group Experiments. Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. .

Author Information

  1. UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2006


The ‘minimal group paradigm’ is an experimental method in which people are assigned to arbitrary groups, and then required to allocate rewards to members of their group or another group. The surprising result of these studies is that ingroup favoritism is elicited under these conditions, suggesting that merely placing people into different groups, even meaningless ones, leads to discrimination.


  • groups;
  • favoritism;
  • discrimination;
  • decision-making;
  • social identity;
  • social psychology