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Intergroup revenge: a laboratory experiment on the causes

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  • David Hugh-Jones

    () (Department of Government, University of Essex)

  • Martin A. Leroch

    () (Institute of Political Science, Johannes Gutenberg-Universitaet Mainz)

Abstract

Field studies of conflict report cycles of mutual revenge between groups, often linked to perceptions of intergroup injustice. Which motivations account for such behavior is, however, not clear. We test the hypothesis that people are predisposed to reciprocate against groups. In a laboratory experiment, subjects who were harmed by a partner’s uncooperative action reacted by harming other members of the partner’s group. This group reciprocity was only observed when one group was seen as unfairly advantaged. Our results support a behavioral mechanism leading from perceived injustice to intergroup conflict. We discuss the relevance of group reciprocity to political and economic phenomena including conflict, discrimination and team competition.

Suggested Citation

  • David Hugh-Jones & Martin A. Leroch, "undated". "Intergroup revenge: a laboratory experiment on the causes," Working Papers 1510, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
  • Handle: RePEc:jgu:wpaper:1510
    as

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    File URL: https://download.uni-mainz.de/RePEc/pdf/Discussion_Paper_1510.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2015
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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