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Abstract

No previous work in the field of group-related attitudes and emotions has investigated the possible affective consequences of ingroup ambivalence—that is, the consequences of having attitudes towards an ingroup that are simultaneously both positive and negative. The current study was designed to explore this issue. Ambivalent attitudes have been argued to be more psychologically salient to the individual than univalent ones. A linear increase in participants' experienced affect was therefore predicted as a function of their ambivalence toward the ingroup. However, consistent with the predictions of social identity theory, previous findings have shown that higher ingroup identifiers are more likely to be involved with the ingroup than lower identifiers. Accordingly, we predicted and found effects of ingroup ambivalence on affect for high but not low ingroup identifiers. Combining the findings of two distinct literatures, the initial evidence provided by this study exploratively traces the sources of the affective processes that are set in motion by the evaluation of one's own group in an intergroup context. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.