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Abstract

In this research, we investigated the psychological sense of feeling wronged as an advantaged group member. By feeling wronged, we refer to advantaged group members who experience themselves being unfairly accused for harboring racial or ethnic biases. Drawing on research on moral threat to the ingroup, we predicted that feeling wronged would lead advantaged group members to legitimize the social hierarchy they are benefiting from, which in turn can undermine their intentions to redress group-based inequality. Study 1 demonstrated that to the extent advantaged group members (both in Italy and the USA) felt wronged predicted their perceptions of group-based disparities as more legitimate, which in turn weakened their intentions to act for promoting social change. Study 2 replicated the effect using an experimental manipulation of unfair blame among a sample of Israeli-Jews. Results are discussed in light of relevant work on competitive victimhood and inverted relative deprivation. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.