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On helping lower status out-groups: The nature of the help and the stability of the intergroup status hierarchy


Michael Platow, School of Psychology, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia. Email:


The current research expanded upon previous theoretical and empirical arguments regarding the nature of intergroup helping. In doing so, we considered the role of relative in-group status, the stability of this status, and the type of help provided. In a scenario study, we observed that members of a relatively high status group more strongly supported the provision of assistance to in-group members than members of a lower status out-group when the assistance was empowering in nature and when the high in-group status was unstable. When the intergroup status differences were stable, however, support for empowerment help to members of a lower status out-group was not significantly lower than support for such help to in-group members. We discuss these data with reference to realistic intergroup conflict theory and social identity theory.