Determinants of in-group bias: Is group affiliation mediated by guilt-aversion?
In-group favoritism in social dilemma situations is one of Social Identity Theory's main findings. We investigate what causes the in-group bias: is it merely due to group affiliation or, alternatively, is guilt-aversion moderating the strength of in-group favoring? We induce group membership in a minimal group setting, observe in-/out-group transfers and elicit corresponding beliefs. According to our experimental data group affiliation affects beliefs and explains a substantial part of the bias. Evidence for guilt-aversion is found only when beliefs are elicited before actions.
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