Inaccurate Group Meta-Perceptions Drive Negative Out-Group Attributions in Competitive Contexts
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CitationLees, Jeffrey, and Mina Cikara. "Inaccurate Group Meta-perceptions Drive Negative Out-group Attributions in Competitive Contexts." Nature Human Behaviour 4, no. 3 (2019): 279-86
AbstractAcross seven experiments and one survey (N=4282) people consistently overestimated out-group negativity towards the collective behavior of their in-group. This negativity bias in group meta-perceptions (GMPs) was present across multiple competitive (but not cooperative) intergroup contexts, and appears to be yoked to group psychology more generally; we observed negativity bias for estimation of out-group, anonymized-group, and even fellow in-group members’ perceptions. Importantly, in the context of American politics greater inaccuracy was associated with increased belief that the out-group is motivated by purposeful obstructionism. However, an intervention that informed participants of the inaccuracy of their beliefs significantly reduced negative out-group attributions, and was more effective for those whose GMPs were more inaccurate. In sum, we highlight a pernicious bias in social judgments of how we believe ‘they’ see ‘our’ behavior, demonstrate how such inaccurate beliefs can exacerbate intergroup conflict, and provide an avenue for reducing the negative effects of inaccuracy.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42658677
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