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The judgment of comparable criminal in-group and out-group people from a social identity perspective

Hengemühle, L.M. (2018) The judgment of comparable criminal in-group and out-group people from a social identity perspective.

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Abstract:Objective Through the increased influx of Muslim refugee and especially through events such as the incidents in Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2016, a debate has arisen which views critically the presence and the behaviour of Muslim refugee. Although only a small number of the Muslim refugee show criminal behaviour, many Europeans, including Germans, show negative attitudes towards these people. Based on social identity perspective, it is investigated, whether subjects such as in-group identification (feeling of in-group membership), contact, in-group prototypicality (thinking about the in-group) and out-group attitude (thinking about the out-group) possibly affect a difference in the judgement of criminal Germans and criminal Muslim refugee. It is expected that criminal Germans are judged more negatively than comparable criminal Muslim refugee and that the more negative the contact, the more negative the judgement of criminal out-group people. Furthermore, it is expected not only that the higher the in-group identification, the more negative the judgement scores of criminal in-group people but also that the higher the in-group prototypicality and lower the out-group attitude, the more negative the judgement of criminal in-group people. Method The questionnaire (N = 135) was spread through different social media platforms and via e-mail, and it was filled in by 135 respondents. For the final analysis, 127 respondents were investigated. Data were collected through different subscales and by presenting 12 similar scenarios (12 with German a perpetrator, 12 with a Muslim refugee perpetrator) to the respondents. Results As expected, in most of the scenarios, criminal Germans were judged on average more negatively than comparable Muslim refugee. By means of a correlation and regression analysis, it became obvious that the assumptions that negative contact led to a more negative judgement of criminal out-group people and that high in-group identification led to a more negative judgement of criminal in-group people, were applicable. Against the assumption, it was shown that in-group prototypicality and out-group attitude did not lead to a difference in in-group and out-group judgement. Conclusion Based on the phenomenon of the ‘Black Sheep Effect’, it was concluded that criminal in-group people are judged more negatively than comparable out-group people. Regarding possible predictors, it was said that in-group identification and contact are predictors which influence criminal in-group and out-group judgement. In contrast, in-group prototypicality and out-group attitude did not affect the difference in in-group and out-group judgements.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/76975
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