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In-group bias control

Publiceringsår: 2012
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 133
Dokumenttyp: Doktorsavhandling
Förlag: Department of Psychology, Lund university


This thesis explores in-group bias control. It is well-known that people tend to have extra liking for people they identify themselves with. An extra positive in-group attitude may cause discrimination, even in the absence of any negative attitudes towards the out-group. At the same time are many people motivated to behave and present themselves as unbiased. We study whether people attempt to control favourable in-group evaluations to a more modest level due to concerns about being and/or appearing biased.
Empirical studies are presented in three papers. Paper 1 studied how the presence of either a member of the in-group or a member of the out-group influenced how favourably the in-group was evaluated. In a between-groups design, participants tended to rate their in-group more favourably when they gave their evaluations verbally to an in-group member rather than to an out-group member.
In paper 2, a scale intended to measure individual differences in motivation to control in-group bias was constructed, and its psychometric properties were tested. Inspired by the literature on out-group bias correction, two subscales where items either referred to internal motivation to control in-group bias or to external motivation to control in-group bias were created. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses gave some support to the notion of two distinct, but related factors. However, the temporal reliability of the scales was lower than expected. The scales showed some relations to other theoretically relevant measures, but more reliable scales are needed in order to further test their validity.
In paper 3 corrections in evaluations of people of different ethnicity and sex was explored. Participants evaluated pictures of Black males, Black females, White males, White females, Middle Eastern males and Middle Eastern females. When participants were given a reminder of the risk of bias, a three-way interaction effect was evident across three experiments. The correction patterns varied somewhat between the experiments, but an overall pattern was that a cue to the risk of bias led to more favourable ratings of some groups (Black men, Middle Eastern men and White women) and a less favourable rating of other (White men). A final study explored a normative account of the findings from the experiments, and a clear pattern emerged where people considered it more important to avoid overrating White men compared to the other groups, whereas it was considered less important to avoid underrating white men compared to the other groups under study. Implications of the results and some thoughts regarding future research are discussed.


Kulturens auditorium, Tegnérplatsen, Lund
  • Nazar Akrami (Docent)


  • Psychology
  • In-group bias
  • in-group favoritism
  • control
  • stereotypes
  • prejudice


  • Martin Bäckström
  • Fredrik Björklund (Professor)
  • ISBN: 978-91-7473-312-9

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