Numerical representation and cross-cut role assignments: Majority members' responses under cooperative interaction

B. Ann Bettencourt, Lisa Molix, Amelia Talley, Janie P. Eubanks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research investigates why cross-cutting role assignments, compared to those that converge, may worsen the intergroup attitudes of numerical majorities. Study 1 manipulated the numerical representation of groups and role assignments in a cooperative setting. As predicted, when the cross-cut role condition included the reintroduction of the numerical imbalance, the intergroup attitudes of majorities were more favorable than when the cross-cut condition did not reintroduce this discrepancy. Also, Study 1 showed that the intergroup attitudes of the majority were more positive when roles converged. Study 2 compared a convergent condition to one with converging roles that also reduced the salience of the majority's numerical advantage. The results for this convergent-reduced-salience condition mimicked that of the cross-cut condition, revealing less positive majority attitudes. In both studies, results suggest that the processes of ingroup identification and relative ingroup homogeneity may mediate the effect of role assignments on ingroup bias. The findings are discussed in terms of the implications for cooperative interventions designed to improve intergroup attitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-564
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • Cooperation
  • Ingroup outgroup
  • Intergroup dynamics
  • Minority groups

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