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More than 70 years ago, a pair of psychologists asked young black girls to choose between dolls. The girls preferred white dolls because of their positive qualities.

The authors of the study said that the Black girls' choices and reasoning indicated that they were damaged self-esteem.

If you like a group to which you don't belong, it's because you have bad feelings about your own group.

The assumption that liking an outgroup means disliking your in group is challenged by a study.

Jimmy Calanchini, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Irvine, is the lead author of the study.

In the 1940s, psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark asked young black girls questions such as which doll they would play with and which is the nicer doll, after using four identical dolls. The researchers concluded that a Black child by the age of 5 is aware that being colored in is a sign of inferior status in American society. Evidence from the study was used to support the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.

Calanchini studied measures of implicit bias. Implicit bias is measured indirectly and is different from explicit bias.

Calanchini used the Implicit Association Test, or IAT, to measure implicit bias. If a participant responds more quickly and accurately to some words than others, it suggests that the faster and more accurate responses are connected in the participant's mind.

The study was administered through the internet to 879,000 people. In the contexts of race, sexual preference, and age, the IATsmeasured implicit bias.

Asian people, Black people, homosexual people, older people, who showed implicit bias in favor of a higher-status outgroup, showed more positive evaluations of the outgroup than they did of their own group. The researchers found that members of majority or relatively higher-status groups showed implicit bias in favor of their own group. They liked the ingroup more than the out group.

Calanchini said that people like a higher-status group more than the lower-status group.

One possible reason is the representations of high-status groups in culture.

One can like an outgroup without feeling bad about it. White and young people who were shown implicit bias in favor of other races were more likely to have negative feelings about their in groups.

The paper, "The Contributions of Positive Outgroup and Negative Ingroup Evaluation to Implicit Bias Favoring Outgroups," was published in the journal this week.

More information: Jimmy Calanchini et al, The contributions of positive outgroup and negative ingroup evaluation to implicit bias favoring outgroups, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2116924119 Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Liking another group doesn't mean you dislike your own (2022, September 30) retrieved 30 September 2022 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.