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Title: Competition-Based Reversals of Ingroup Favoritism Among Asian Americans
Authors: Jiao, Alvina
Advisors: Fiske, Susan
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: Social psychology research and public discourse on racial groups in the United States has traditionally focused on favoritism within groups and conflict between groups, largely ignoring the existence of negative attitudes and behaviors among members of the same group. This thesis explores the possibility of intragroup competition and more general reversals of ingroup favoritism among Asian Americans, proposing that threat to social identity in a competitive interpersonal scenario increases the likelihood that Asian Americans will seek individual mobility, behaving less supportively toward ingroup members as a result. A randomized experiment on 164 Asian and 191 White Princeton University undergraduates tested this hypothesis by placing participants in a hypothetical election scenario with an Asian competitor and a White competitor for a position on a high-status student council. The racial composition of the current council was varied such that Asian students appeared either well represented (mixed condition) or absent (homogeneous condition), with the intention of generating a threatening social identity contingency for Asian participants in the latter condition. Results indicated that participants of both races were less supportive of the Asian competitor after exposure to an all-White (homogeneous) council than after exposure to a mixed council, suggesting that social identity threat prompted reversals of ingroup favoritism among Asian participants. Perceptions of group discrimination and the experience of personal discrimination both appeared to moderate the likelihood of ingroup favoritism among Asian participants, although in opposing directions. Policy implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Extent: 120 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2016

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