Simultaneous ingroup and outgroup favoritism in implicit social cognition

Jordan R. Axt, Tal Moran, Yoav Bar-Anan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People like their own groups, producing ingroup favoritism, a hallmark finding of social identity theory. However, as predicted by system justification or cultural learning perspectives, outgroup favoritism among non-dominant groups is occasionally observed, particularly implicitly. The present research found that non-dominant group members displayed simultaneous ingroup and dominant group implicit favoritism. On indirect measures focusing on positive valence, members of non-dominant racial (Studies 1 and 4), religious (Study 2), and sexual (Study 3) groups showed ingroup favoritism. On indirect measures focusing on negative valence, members of non-dominant groups showed diminished ingroup favoritism, and sometimes favoritism towards the culturally dominant group. These results may indicate that positive self-regard forms associations between the ingroup and positive, whereas cultural learning and system justification form associations between non-dominant groups and negative. A cross-cultural design (Study 5) also found results compatible with these assumptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-289
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.


  • Implicit cognition
  • Intergroup processes
  • Prejudice
  • System justification


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