Stretching the boundaries: strategic perceptions of intragroup variability
Article first published online: 19 JUL 2001
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 31, Issue 4, pages 413–429, July/August 2001
How to Cite
Rubin, M., Hewstone, M. and Voci, A. (2001), Stretching the boundaries: strategic perceptions of intragroup variability. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 31: 413–429. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.51
- Issue published online: 19 JUL 2001
- Article first published online: 19 JUL 2001
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 JAN 2000
- Manuscript Received: 2 OCT 1999
- Economic and Social Research Council. Grant Number: R00429634233
- William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
We hypothesised that people would strategically alter their perceived intragroup variability on ingroup-threatening traits in order to maintain positive perceptions of their self and their ingroup. Specifically, we predicted that people would perceive (1) greater relative outgroup homogeneity and (2) greater general intragroup variability on ingroup negative and outgroup positive traits. We confirmed the outgroup homogeneity prediction in a minimal group experiment (N=80) and a gender group experiment (N = 164). In a second gender group experiment (N = 137), we found that ingroup size moderated this effect: only minority group members showed the predicted pattern of outgroup homogeneity. Evidence for the general intragroup variability prediction was less conclusive. We discuss the results in terms of variability strategies. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.