Three studies assessed the association between in-group favoritism and subjective belonging. Study 1 revealed that after New Zealanders allocated more positive resources to in-group than out-group members (i.e., Asians), they reported higher levels of belonging. Study 2 showed that when New Zealanders evaluated in-group members more positively than out-group members, they reported an increase in belonging. Study 3 examined the link between belonging and the allocation of negative resources (i.e., white noise) to in-group and out-group members amongst accepted, rejected and baseline participants. Group members who allocated more white noise to out-group than in-group members displayed elevated belonging. Relative to those in the baseline, accepted and rejected participants manifested pronounced patterns of in-group favoritism. Together, the results indicate that (a) different forms of in-group favoritism (i.e., evaluations and the allocation of positive and negative resources) are directly associated with enhanced belonging, (b) both high and low belonging can promote ingroup favoritism, and (c) these relationships are not a function of personal esteem, group esteem or group identification.
Hunter, JA., Platow, MJ., Moradi, S., Banks, M., Hayhurst, J., Kafka, S., Iversen, G., Scobie, O., Scarf, D., Stringer, M., O'Brien, KS., & Ruffman, T. (2017). Subjective belonging and in-group favoritism. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 73, 136-146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2017.06.010