Towards Tolerance: Representations of Superordinate Categories and Perceived Ingroup Prototypicality

Sven Waldzus, Amelie Mummendey, Michael Wenzel, Ulrike Weber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    According to Mummendey and Wenzel (1999), group members tend to perceive their ingroup, relative to an outgroup, as more prototypical of the superordinate category encompassing both groups. Hence, they tend to regard the outgroup as deviating from the norms of the superordinate category. Factors that inhibit perception of relative ingroup prototypicality should thus promote intergroup tolerance. In two experiments, the representation of the superordinate category was manipulated. Both an undefinable prototype (Experiment 1; N = 63) and a complex representation (Experiment 2; N = 88) led to a decrease in relative ingroup prototypicality. Dual identification with the ingroup and the superordinate category increased relative ingroup prototypicality, which was negatively correlated with positive attitudes towards the outgroup. The findings supported Mummendey and Wenzel's assumptions about the conditions that lead to intergroup tolerance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-47
    JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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