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Dev Psychol. 1998 Sep;34(5):902-9.

Children's subjective identification with the group and in-group favoritism.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Dundee, Scotland.


Recent developments in social psychology have explained children's preference for members of the in-group in terms of processes of self-categorization and identification with the in-group. In contrast, this study, addressing nationality self-conceptions, examines the possibility that even before subjective identification with the group has occurred, as de facto group members, children will have been exposed to a great deal of positive information about their own national group, which is likely to encourage group-serving judgments. Children who had failed to identify themselves as members of their national group were required in this study to make evaluative judgments about 5 national groups, including their own. Significant preference for the in-group emerged on 2 of 3 measures. It is concluded that subjective identification with the in-group is not a necessary precondition for in-group favoritism.

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