Helping to improve the group stereotype: On the strategic dimension of prosocial behavior

Nick Hopkins, Steve Reicher, Kate Harrison, Clare Cassidy, Rebecca Bull, Mark Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)


Three studies consider a basis for intergroup helping. Specifically, they show that group members may help others to disconfirm a stereotype of their own group as mean. Study 1 shows that Scots believe they are seen as mean by the English, resent this stereotype, are motivated to refute it, and believe out-group helping is a particularly effective way of doing so. Study 2 shows that increasing the salience of the English stereotype of the Scottish as mean leads Scots to accentuate the extent to which Scots are depicted as generous. Study 3 shows that increasing the salience of the stereotype of the Scots as mean results in an increase in the help volunteered to out-group members. These results highlight how strategic concerns may result in out-group helping. In turn, they underscore the point that helping others may be a means to advance a group's interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-788
Number of pages13
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number6
Early online date4 May 2007
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • metastereotypes
  • prosocial behavior
  • out-group helping
  • bystander intervention
  • meta-stereotypes
  • group membership
  • social identity
  • power relations
  • norms

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