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Chapter 10

PSYC 2310 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Realistic Conflict Theory, Social Identity Theory, Relative Deprivation


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 2310
Professor
Jeffrey Yen
Chapter
10

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Chapter 10 Intergroup Relations
Intergroup relations: the way in which people in groups perceive, think about, feel about, and act
toward people in other groups
Important: collective behaviour of people in a crowd
Each individual’s motivation and goals in being part of the crowd, presence of other
people’s motivations and goals, presence of others who oppose them, cues in the
environment, individual’s perception of injustice how they behave in crowd
Le Bon: act instinctively and become irrational; destructive, pathological, and should be
controlled
Three characteristics: Anonymity, suggestibility, contagion
McDougall: crowds as violent, impulsive, suggestible, and emotional
Le Bon and McDougall: group “collective”mind making people less responsible and act
based on instinct, become less intelligent, more violent; negative perception of crowds
Allport: rejected the idea of a group mind; “individual in the crowd behaves just as he
would behave alone only more so”; crowds can be destructive and harmful
Deindividuation
Cannot be understood by studying individuals
Zimbardo: large groups= less likely to follow normal rules of behavious, sense of
diffusion of individual responsibilities; anonymity is a social circumstance that leads to
the psychological state of deindividuation
Deindividuation: one loses this awareness of oneself as a distinct individual and feels less
compelled to follow normal rules of behaviour
More likely to occur in group setting, contributes to tendency of engaging in highly
destructive actions
Anonymity
Each individual is less distinguishable (uniforms, face covered)
Precursor to deindividuation
Example: Stanford Prison experiment
Can facilitate aggression
Cues in social environment are important in increasing or decreasing aggressive
behaviour (like anonymity
Johnson and Downing: deindividuation does not always increase antisocial behaviour;
positive cues of deindividuation increases prosocial behaviour; anonymity =less self-
conscious, more responsive to social cues, especially if they promote prosocial behaviour

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Accountability
Whether a person expects to be held responsible for his or her actions
Less likely to be identified, feel less accountable, more uninhibited
Size of group increaseslevel of violence increases
Decrease in self-awareness
Leads to deindividuation
Less of a sense of themselves as distinct individuals
Decrease in self-awareness leads people to be less focused on matching their behaviour to
their normal standards
willingness to engage in less normal behaviour when self-awareness is low
anonymity, deindividuation , decreased self-awareness are overlapping constructs
Le Bon: regress to a more primitive state
Allport: become selfish grasping individual that they really are underneath the veneer of
social constraints
Alternative view: less aware of your individual identity you become more aware of a
group, or social, identity
Social Identity Theory
People in a crowd do not lose their identity in some way but instead assume a new social
identity as a member of a particular group
Adopt a stronger social identity, change of identity rather than loss of identity
Although both groups were exposed to the same environment, their group membership
determine the behaviour and other social behaviour
Group memberships are salient, group goal and group identity that regulate behaviour
Group is not in isolation, there is a second group even if it is not physically present
Brown: to understand what goes on inside a crowd, important to examine crowds from an
intergroup perspective; Social identity theory explains this
Social Identity Theory: each person strives to enhance his or her self-esteem, which is
composed of both personal and social identity
Affiliate with successful groups as a way to increase our own feelings of self-worth
People favour their in-groups over their outgroups in order to enhance their self-esteem
Threats to one’s self-esteem increase the need for in-group favouritism
Groups is threatened, people feel bad about themselves more in-group favouritism and
more likely to derogate outgroup members
In-group favouritism and outgroup degradation more common is status in group is
threatened, status of individual within a group is threatened and if the group is small
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Status within the group
Marginal status more likely to derogate outgroup members especially in the presence of
in-group members
Identity is threatened act in hostile way to increase their own feelings of self-worth
Feminist women represent a threat to male dominance and social stauts and therefore
threatened men’s group-based self-esteem
Group Size
Smaller= greater loyalty to it
Minority groups = greater group loyalty than majority groups
Dynamics of Group Behaviour Based on the Ratio of Males and Females in a group
Moss Kanter: 4 types of proportions for group composition: uniform group (all one
gender), skewed group (few token members), tilted group (majority and minority),
balanced group (equal amounts)
Kanter: three perceptual phenomena: visibility, polarization, assimilation
Visibility is high, contend with a greater degree of attention
Polarization: tendency for the dominant group to notice thier own commonalities with
others in their group and differences in the minority group
Assimilation: process of perceiving or misperceiving the token women’s characteristics
to be more like a category characterization than they actually are; more likely to
discriminate
Both gender and group size can moderate the perceived variability of the other group
members
Diverse work settings, perception of group variability are affected by the relative sizes of
the majority and minority
Biases resulted from group proportion
How does intergroup conflict develop?
Realistic conflict theory
Direct competition for limited resources
Realistic conflict theory: animosity between different groups results from individuals’
self-interest motives in terms of competitions for jobs, land, and power
Shifting people’s group memberships can help overcome negative intergroup relations
Sherif: role of competition in creating and reducing conflict between groups
Sherif stages of realistic conflict theory: 1) formation of groups 2) intergroup conflict 3)
intergroup cooperation
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