2022 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Culture and Ethnic Hierarchies as Factors Influencing Intergroup Biases and Behaviors Towards Outgroups

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Iryna Babik


Past research found that cultural stereotypes can lead to ethnic hierarchies (ranking of outgroups within a culture in a hierarchical form). The interaction between culture and ethnic hierarchies impacts cultural values, affecting people’s employment opportunities. An individuals’ intergroup empathy is influenced by their culture, status, and social hierarchy. Individuals viewed faces of the same ethnicity as themselves as having better attributes, suggesting outgroup biases. Peer norms are associated with demographic factors such as age, gender, social and cultural contexts. Those viewed as different are more often rated lower by peers. Social identity of an individual may be affected by the interaction between the individuals’ values and personality. The social identity of bicultural individuals has been found to affect the way that individual views his/her ethnic in-group: bicultural Asian Americans viewed Asian people as their ethnic in-group as opposed to Americans. Social identity has been shown to influence individuals’ intergroup biases and attitudes and behaviors towards outgroups: high identity with a cultural group was associated with lower acceptance of others and more tolerance to the group-based exclusion.8 Those within an ethnic hierarchy agreed that there was an ethnic hierarchy, and those within the hierarchy preferred to interact with the individuals that resided in their in-group. The interaction between culture and ethnic hierarchies influence people’s personality, values, and social identity, which, in turn, may affect their intergroup biases, as well as attitudes and behaviors towards outgroups.

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