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Abstract

This study examined the proposition that blacks and whites make dispositional attributions for an in-group's positive behaviors and an out-group's negative behaviors. The study also examined whether this positive in-group bias was caused by dislike of the out-group or belief in a stereotype. Thus, blacks and whites made attributions to black and white others who succeeded or failed on tasks for which there was either no stereotype or a more negative stereotype of whites than of blacks. An out-group other's failure on both tasks was attributed to lack of ability more than was an in-group other's failure. This finding suggests that the in-group bias is caused by dislike of the out-group. Furthermore, in success conditions subjects' attributions to the in-group or out-group other did not differ. It was suggested that these attributions may result from a combination of an in-group bias and a polarized appraisal.