When different means worse: In-group prototypicality in changing intergroup contexts

Michael Wenzel, Amelie Mummendey, Sven Waldzus

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    An experiment with 213 participants provided evidence for in-group projection-the generalization of distinctive in-group attributes to a superordinate category. The frame of reference for in-group (German) judgments was manipulated by presenting either Italians or the British as an out-group. Results showed that attributes on which Germans differed from each out-group were accentuated not only in in-group judgments but also when judging Europeans. By adapting features of the superordinate category to those of the in-group, the in-group's similarity to, and the out-group's deviation from, the prototype of the superordinate category were maintained, if not emphasized. Further, higher in-group prototypicality-compared to out-group prototypicality-for the superordinate category was related to negative out-group attitudes. In-group projection was reduced when a complex representation of the superordinate category was primed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)76-83
    JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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