Group norms moderate the effect of identification on ingroup bias

Çoksan S., Cingöz Ulu B.

Current Psychology, vol.41, no.1, pp.64-75, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12144-021-02091-x
  • Journal Name: Current Psychology
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, BIOSIS, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.64-75
  • Keywords: Egalitarianism, Group norms, Identification, Ingroup bias, Favoritism, IN-GROUP, SOCIAL IDENTITY, SELF-CATEGORIZATION, BEHAVIOR, DIFFERENTIATION
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.The social identity tradition has not reached a consensus regarding the question of whether identifying with an ingroup directly leads to ingroup bias, or whether this association may be moderated by group norms. One previous study (Jetten, Spears, & Manstead, 1997) showed that an ingroup norm of fairness as opposed to differentiation seems to moderate this link between identification and ingroup bias. The present research aims to examine the extent to which real-life group members (Kurds and Turks) with a history of conflict engage in ingroup bias as a function of their level of identification when group norms prescribe favoritism or equality. In Study 1, Kurdish and Turkish participants report their ingroup norm (egalitarianism or favoritism) and allocate a fixed amount of funds between Kurds and Turks in a hypothetical situation. The results show a significant interaction between social identification and group norm on ingroup bias. Accordingly, ingroup bias increases with the strength of identification when the norm is favoritism; however, there is no relationship when the norm is egalitarianism. Study 2 manipulates the ingroup norm for Kurdish and Turkish participants in the same hypothetical context. This time, the interaction is marginally significant but in a similar direction, where stronger identification leads to higher ingroup bias in the favoritism norm condition, yet this effect disappears in the egalitarianism norm condition. These findings extend the literature on the role of norms in intergroup relations, emphasizing the important role of egalitarian norms in reducing ingroup bias even in real-life conflict-ridden contexts.