Ingroup identification as a moderator of positive–negative asymmetry in social discrimination



Group members typically favour ingroups over outgroups, particularly when distributing positive rather than negative resources. The present investigation examined whether the positive–negative discrimination asymmetry in the minimal group paradigm varies as a function of ingroup identification. After being categorized into arbitrary groups, participants expressing low to high ingroup identification allocated positive, neutral, or negative outcomes on the basis of group membership (i.e. ingroup versus outgroup recipients). The interaction between ingroup identification and outcome valence revealed that identification influenced the magnitude of discrimination asymmetry. Specifically, increases in identification led to discrimination in favour of the ingroup for positive but not negative outcomes. The implications for intergroup behaviour more generally are considered. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.