Changing categorization of self can change emotions about outgroups

Devin Ray, Diane M. Mackie, Robert J. Rydell, Eliot R. Smith

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on Intergroup Emotions Theory [Mackie, D. M., Maitner, A. T., & Smith, E. R. (in press). Intergroup emotions theory. In T.D. Nelson (Ed.), Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination, New York: Erlbaum.], we propose that a perceiver's emotional reactions toward other social groups can change in response to situationally induced shifts in self-categorization. American students were led to self-categorize as Americans OF as students and reported their anger and respect towards Muslims and police. Results indicated that in reaction to Muslims, participants felt more anger and less respect when categorized as Americans than when categorized as students. In reaction to police, participants felt less anger and More respect when categorized as Americans than when categorized as students. These results support and extend IET, and suggest that in addition to prejudice reduction interventions that focus on recategorization of the target, perceiver recategorization of the self is a viable means of changing emotional reactions to social targets. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1210-1213
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • intergroup emotions
  • intergroup relations

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