Do We Look Like Me or Like Us? Visual Projection as Self-or Ingroup-Projection
SourceSocial Cognition, 31, 6, (2013), pp. 806816
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
People see their own group as more typical of a larger, superordinate category than they see other, included subgroups (ingroup-projection). This basic effect is not restricted to verbally encoded characteristics but also expands to the domain of what people think superordinate group members typically look like. Despite the robustness of the ingroup-projection phenomenon, it could be argued that it is a side effect of an even more basic process of seeing groups and individuals as similar primarily to the self (self-projection). In the present research, the authors sought to address and rule out this potential alternative explanation of visual ingroup-projection as an artifact of self-projection to the subgroup and the superordinate group. Thirty-one participants completed three two-image, forced-choice reverse correlation image classification tasks to create subjective, prototypical images, called classification images, of (a) themselves; (b) their national ingroup (German); and (c) the larger, superordinate group (European). With the use of partial pixel correlations, the objective, unique physical similarity between pairs of classification images was calculated. Both the self-image and the ingroup image independently predicted the superordinate group image, indicating that both self-projection and ingroup-projection contribute to visual mental representations of superordinate group faces.
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