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Self-Esteem and Group Identity

If we see someone else as belonging to the same group we are in, we tend to have a positive view towards them, and give them preferential treatment (In-Group, 2005). They are in our ôin-group.ö This occurs because self-esteem is built through belonging, and the presence of someone from the in-group reminds us that we belong to that group also. The in-group linguistic bias occurs when out-group people are described in abstract terms, meant to depersonify them, when they perform some task which is a stereotype of the out-group. Studies showed that when people were randomly divided into groups, they rapidly found in-group people preferable to out-group people, even finding rational arguments about how unpleasant and immoral the out-group people were.

We classify people not in our group as ôout-groupö and being similar to one another (Out-group, 2005). We tend to see them as being all alike, whereas we see the in-group as individuals. In a research study, students predicted that students from their own college would have a wide variety of tastes in music, but that students from a different college would all like the same type of music. This results in stereotyping of people from different cultures, working for different companies, coming from different cities (New Yorkers vs Los Angelinos, for example). These generalizations lead us to discriminate against all people from these groups. When we visit a new county or city, we generalize the characteristics of the first few people we meet to the whole population.

A situation at work in which I was part of the in-group was when I was producing special events with a well-known entrepreneur and I was in charge of the productions. I was second-in-command to only the entrepreneur so was in charge of all the details and all but the most top-level decision making. People came to me for instructions, advice, permission, and help and we worked as a team, an in-group, to pull...

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Self-Esteem and Group Identity. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 05:49, February 20, 2017, from