Consequences of perceived group variability : hostile outgroup behaviors
Kirmis, Nathan Halvor
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The present study investigated the link between perceptions of group variability and intergroup hostility. Three-hundred and twenty undergraduates delivered noise blasts to members of their ingroup and a competing outgroup after receiving bogus feedback about the variability of personality scores for each group. It was hypothesized that under conditions of outgroup homogeneity, participants would demonstrate the greatest levels of outgroup hostility. While the average levels of outgroup hostility were greatest under conditions of outgroup homogeneity, there were no significant differences in outgroup hostility among the four conditions. I argue that levels of perceived threat were not sufficiently raised to obtain a link between perceptions of group variability and intergroup threat. Future manipulations are proposed (e.g., valence and stereotypicality), that are likely to increase perceived threat and realize the link between outgroup homogeneity and intergroup hostility.