Get access

Illegitimacy and identity threat in (inter)action: Predicting intergroup orientations among minority group members


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Andrew G. Livingstone, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3AT, UK (e-mail:


We test the hypothesis that intergroup orientations among minority group members are shaped by the interaction between the perceived illegitimacy of intergroup relations and identity threat appraisals, as well as their main effects. This is because together they serve to focus emotion-mediated reactions on the out-group's role in threatening in-group identity. In a large-scale field study (N =646), conducted among the Welsh minority in the UK, we quasi-manipulated the extent to which Welsh identity was dependent on the ‘threatened’ Welsh language. Results supported our hypothesis that the illegitimacy × identity threat interaction would be strongest where Welsh identity was most dependent upon the Welsh language, and through intergroup anger would predict support for more radical, unconstitutional forms of action.