The effects of intergroup context of evaluation on ambivalence toward the ingroup and the outgroup

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Abstract

A study is reported which examines the relations between ambivalence toward the ingroup and the outgroup. The basic assumption was that ambivalent attitudes in intergroup contexts contribute to satisfying two competing motivations of group members, i.e. establishment of positive distinctiveness for the ingroup and conformity to the fairness norm. Participants were asked to evaluate the ingroup and one other group by using unipolar (positively and negatively valenced) affect- and cognition-based items. We predicted an interaction effect of target group (ingroup versus outgroup) and attitude domain (affect-based versus cognition-based) on ambivalence. Additional hypotheses were formulated taking separately into account the positive and the negative unipolar items. We expected that on positively valenced items the ingroup would be favoured over the outgroup on both affect- and cognition-based evaluations. Besides, we predicted that on negatively valenced items, the ingroup would be favoured over the outgroup on affect-based evaluation but not on cognition-based evaluation. Results indicated support for the predictions and shed light on the moderating role played by attitude domains on both ambivalence and ingroup favouritism. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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