Effects of numerical representation within cooperative settings: Examining the role of salience in in-group favouritism


Department of Psychology, 104A McAlester Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia MO 65211, USA(e-mail: psyannb@showme.missour.edu).


These studies investigate whether group salience contributes to the greater in-group favouritism expressed by numerical minorities after intergroup cooperation, as compared with majorities. In Study 1, using real social categories, situationally heightened salience exacerbated bias only among numerical minorities. Using real social categories, Study 2 confirmed the predicted effect of numerical representation on a measure of group salience as well as measures of anxiety and cohesion. Study 3 created artificial groups of equal and unequal size. In this study, compared to majority status, numerical minority status induced stronger perceptions of in-group salience and cohesion as well as greater in-group bias. Moreover, a regression analysis supported the prediction that salience mediates greater in-group positivity among numerical minorities.