Deconstructing Group Bias: Social Preferences and Groupy vs. Non-Groupy Behavior

  • Date: Oct 2, 2019
  • Time: 17:00
  • Speaker: Rachel Kranton
  • Duke University
  • Location: MPI
  • Room: Ground Floor

This paper tests whether stronger identification with a group – in particular political party affiliation – drives bias in social preferences. Dividing subjects into two groups on either side of the American political spectrum, Democrats show more ingroup bias than Independents who share the same political opinions. But this greater bias is also present in minimal groups, suggesting some people are simply “groupy” and respond to group divisions per se. Categorizing individuals as groupy or not groupy correlates with in and outside of the laboratory behavior, including response time and political independence. The results suggest that political animosities are not necessarily the result of greater policy difference but due to a heightened us vs. them framing of political debate. Continuing and future research should investigate psychometric, demographic, and cultural correlates of “groupy“ vs. “not groupy” behavior

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