In a series of four experiments, we examined the impact of varying the salience of an extremely different out-group on subjects' evaluations of a moderately different out-group. Evaluations of the moderately different out-group were accentuated when the extreme out-group was present: In a preliminary study and in Experiment 1, the moderate out-group was rated more poorly; in Experiments 1, 2, and 3, it was rated more favorably. Results were interpreted in a social judgment framework. Evidence from Experiment 3 indicated that salience of the extreme out-group was associated with a shift in the positions subjects thought the moderate out-group espoused. This shift in judgment may have brought about or at least justified the change in subjects' evaluations of the moderate out-group. Implications for intergroup relations are considered in the discussion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science