Special issue article
When the powerful feels wronged: The legitimization effects of advantaged group members' sense of being accused for harboring racial or ethnic biases
Article first published online: 29 MAY 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Special Issue: Social Psychological Perspectives on the Legitimation of Social Inequality
Volume 43, Issue 4, pages 292–298, June 2013
How to Cite
Saguy, T., Chernyak-Hai, L., Andrighetto, L. and Bryson, J. (2013), When the powerful feels wronged: The legitimization effects of advantaged group members' sense of being accused for harboring racial or ethnic biases. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 43: 292–298. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.1948
- Issue published online: 25 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 29 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 15 JUL 2012
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.