Ingroups, Outgroups, and Their Affects on Behaviors

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Ingroups, Outgroups, and Their
Affect on Behaviors

We as humans tend to relate to those that are similar to us, and tend to alienate those that we deem as different than us. Whether it is by race, gender, culture, or religion, it is something that is almost always present in human interactions, and often times can be completely subconscious. In our textbook Interpersonal Communication by Kory Floyd, an ingroup is defined as “A group of people with whom one identifies.” An outgroup is conversely defined as “A group of people whom one does not identify.” Henri Tajfel first coined this terminology while he was working to devise his social identity theory. These ideas of classifying people into ingroups and outgroups can lead to many
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“In matches between the two groups of football teams, the teams from the same state as the umpires received more favorable decisions than the other teams did by a margin of 11% for the 171 games studied.” In situations where the umpires had to allocate rewards to members of a group they identified with competing against a group they did not identify with they clearly favored their ingroup. This study helped proved the theory that intergroup competition is a prevalent reason why ingroup favoritism is often exhibited in society. This idea is completely embedded into the entire sporting culture of our society today. We group ourselves together with the “home team” or the ingroup. We prefer for that group, as well as ourselves by association, to be successful. The second explanation that is usually offered is the idea that people will have a better opinion of people in their ingroup in order to boost their own self-esteem by association. Robert Cialdini conducted a very interesting study on a concept called Basking in Reflected Glory (BIRG) at several different universities. In order to study how self-esteem was a determinant of ingroup bias, Cialdini and his team researched the behavior of students after victories and losses of the school’s football teams. Their results “Demonstrated the BIRG phenomenon by showing a greater tendency for university students to wear
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