Intergroup bias in group judgment processes: The role of behavioral memories

Jeffrey W. Sherman, Stanley B. Klein, Adrienne Laskey, Natalie A. Wyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Two experiments examined the role of memory for behavioral episodes in judgments about in-groups and out-groups. Using a minimal group paradigm, participants read either positive or negative trait-relevant behaviors performed by group members. They then were asked to make judgments about the group's trait characteristics. Results demonstrated that for groups described positively, judgments about the out-group but not the in-group were accomplished by retrieving from memory specific behaviors performed by group members. In contrast, for groups described negatively, judgments about the in-group but not the out-group were accomplished by retrieving specific behaviors performed by group members. These results suggest that basic differences in the way judgments about in-groups and out-groups are made contribute to the establishment and perpetuation of intergroup bias by decreasing the stability of negative in-group and positive out-group impressions and increasing the stability of positive in-group and negative out-group impressions. (C) 1998 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-65
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998

Cite this