On the measurement of social orientations in the minimal group paradigm: norms as moderators of the expression of intergroup bias



Contrary to most other research conducted in the minimal group paradigm tradition, Bornstein, Crum, Wittenbraker, Harring, Insko and Thibaut (1983a) found little evidence of ingroup favoritism when they employed a revised measurement system (i.e. the Multiple Alternative Matrices; MAMs). The current experiment examined whether Bornstein et al.'s effects could be attributed to norms that prohibit intergroup discrimination, which are made salient by framing the outcome values in the intergroup allocation task as monetary payment. We manipulated the salience of prohibitive norms by varying whether participants allocated on the MAMs monetary payment, bonus money or feelings. Participants more strongly associated ‘having to be fair and equal’ with payment than with bonus or feelings and category members made fewer allocations that maximized the ingroup's relative and absolute profit and more allocations that minimized intergroup differences when allocating monetary payment than when allocating bonus money or feelings. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.