Anticipated outgroup evaluations and intergroup bias



A study is reported that tests the hypothesis that group members exhibit intergroup bias in response to the belief that outsiders will discriminate against them. To this end, two experimental conditions are included in which subjects anticipate either biased evaluations or fair evaluations respectively. In a control condition, subjects do not expect to be evaluated from an external source. Results indicated, as expected, that those who anticipated biased evaluations from an outgroup exhibited bias themselves, while those who anticipated fair evaluations exhibited outgroup favouritism. The fact that control subjects exhibited the same degree of bias as those who anticipated biased evaluations from the outgroup poses some difficulties for the hypothesized connection between anticipated discrimination and intergoup bias. Thus, it appears that intergroup bias is the rule and not the exception in an intergroup context. Nevertheless, it is clear that anticipated evaluations of outgroup members can effect intergroup bias.