Research shows that under manipulated conditions of intergroup threat, individuals experience greater negative affect to the extent that low in-group identifiers make an in-group-internal attribution rather than an out-group-internal attribution, and high ingroup identifiers make an out-group-internal attribution rather than an in-group-internal attribution for outcomes of intergroup comparison that threaten their social identity. The author predicted and found that under conditions of making an out-group-internal attribution, such an effect of in-group identification is mediated by the general proneness to perceiving in-group–out-group differences, or intergroup distinctiveness, at high, but not low, levels of in-group identification. Combining the findings of 2 different literatures, the author provides new insights into the distinct roles played by intergroup attributions as a predictor, in-group identification as a moderator, and intergroup distinctiveness as a mediator of the affective responses produced under conditions of social identity threat instantiated by individuals’ making out-group-internal attribution for the in-group unfavorable outcomes of intergroup comparison.
Intergroup threat and experienced affect: the distinct roles of causal attributions and in-group identification / Costarelli, Sandro. - In: THE JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 0022-4545. - 149:(2009), pp. 393-401. [10.3200/SOCP.149.3.393-401]