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Dev Psychol. 2007 Nov;43(6):1347-59.

The loyal member effect: on the preference for ingroup members who engage in exclusive relations with the ingroup.

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  • 1Department of Developmental and Socialization Psychology, Universit√† di Padova, Padova, Italy. castelli.luigi@unipd.it

Abstract

The goal of this article was to investigate an indirect form of intergroup differentiation in children in the context of racial attitudes: the preference for ingroup members who interact positively with other ingroup members rather than with outgroup members. Study 1 confirmed this general hypothesis with preschool and 1st-grade children, demonstrating that respondents preferred the ingroup member who played only with other ingroup members, evaluated this child more positively, and felt more similar to him or her. Studies 2 and 3 tested the boundary conditions of the phenomenon. Study 4 analyzed developmental changes demonstrating that the effect is no longer observed among 9- to 11-year-old children. Overall, these studies suggest that engaging in positive interactions with the outgroup might have its costs in terms of a relative devaluation and rejection by one's peers. Results are discussed by stressing the importance of intragroup processes for the regulation of intergroup relations among very young children.

(c) 2007 APA.

PMID:
18020816
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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