Social identity theory predicts a link between self-esteem and intergroup discrimination. Previous research has failed to find consistent support for this prediction. Much of this research has, however, been beset by a number of methodological shortcomings. These shortcomings may have hindered attempts to discern a consistent relationship between self-esteem and intergroup discrimination. The current investigation sought to overcome these difficulties by utilizing, realistic groups, multidimensional measures of self-esteem and testing self-esteem before and after the manifestation of intergroup evaluative bias. The results demonstrate that when the members of realistic groups engage in evaluative intergroup bias, the esteem in which they hold specific self-images is enhanced. Of the 13 facets of self-esteem delineated by the instrument used in the present study significant increases were found in six particular domains: honesty, academic ability, verbal ability, physical appearance, religion and parental relations. Global self-esteem was unaffected by the display of bias. These findings emphasize the importance of using realistic groups and domain specific self-esteem when attempting to assess the role of self-esteem in intergroup discrimination.
|Journal||European Journal of Social Psychology|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - Jul 1996|