Facing Europe: Visualizing spontaneous ingroup projection
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Number of pages
SourcePsychological Science, 22, 12, (2011), pp. 1583-1590
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
Individuals perceive their own group to be more typical of a shared superordinate identity than other groups are. This in-group projection process has been demonstrated with both self-report and indirect measures. The two studies reported here extend this research to the visual level, specifically, within the domain of faces. Using an innovative reverse-correlation approach, we found that German and Portuguese participants’ visual representations of European faces resembled the appearance typical for their own national identity. This effect was found even among participants who explicitly denied that one nation was more typical of Europe than the other (Study 1). Moreover, Study 2 provides experimental evidence that in-group projection is restricted to inclusive superordinate groups, as the effect was not observed for visual representations of a category (“Australian”) that did not include participants’ in-group. Implications for the in-group projection model, as well as for the applicability of reversecorrelation paradigms, are discussed.
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