Social Identity theory

  • Created by: debbieoxt
  • Created on: 13-05-18 17:34
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  • Social Identity theory
    • Tajfel and Turner classified groups as either an in-group to which we have membership or an out-group which is another rival group or group to which we do not have membership.
    • Social Categorisation - we categorise people in order to understand them. We all automatically categorise ourselves and others as members of various social groups. Groups we belong to are out in-groups and groups we don't belong to are out-groups.
      • Social Identification - we identify with groups that we believe ourselves to belong to. Our group membership is part of our social identity. As a member of a group, we take on aspects of the group we identify as our own, such as taking on the group's norms.
        • Social comparison - a positive self-concept is part of normal psychological functioning. This is achieved through in-group favouritism and negative out-group bias. In order to boost self esteem, we are motivated to see the in-group as better than the out-group. We put the out-group down to make ourselves feel better. This social comparison ensures that the social identity of the group is good but it can lead to prejudice.
    • Minimal group studies
      • Experiment 1 - 'accurate or inaccurate estimations'
        • Procedure - Lab experiment with 64 boys (14-15 years old) who knew each other. They were told that they were taking part in a study on visual judgements and were shown a series of slides with varying numbers of dots. Boys were then asked to estimate them and recorded each estimate. They were categorised into under estimators and over estimators. The second part of the study was to assess the effects of social categorisation on intergroup behaviour. They had to allocate points to each group, which was converted into money.
        • Results - they found a significant amount of in-group favouritism and negative out-group bias by calculating the rewards and penalties given to their own and another group.
        • Conclusion - they concluded that prejudice and discrimination is easily triggered - just perceiving someone else to be in an out-group is enough to doit.
      • Experiment 2 - Klee and Kandinsky
        • Procedure - lab experiment, 48 boys from the same school. Shown 6 Klee paintings and 6 Kandinsky paintings and asked their preference. Assigned at random to the Klee or Kandinsky group despite their actual preference. Had to allocate points for each group.
        • Results - Boys consistently rewarded their own group. This demonstrates in-group favouritism, regardless of the fact that they had no idea who was in their own group or in the other group.
        • Conclusion - categorisation into groups produces in-group favouritism and discrimination towards the out-group, even when there is no direct competition between groups, we would rather have the out-group suffer at the expense of in-group loss.


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