On the evaluation of intergroup deviance on individual and group level: “When it is (n)one of us, but all of them.”

Crimes perpetrated by migrants and asylum seekers in different European cities sparked debates about the integration of citizens and refugees from predominantly Muslim countries. Media analyses demonstrate that perpetrators’ religion or cultural background are often connected with the deviant acts....

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Khosrowtaj, Zahra
Contributors: Teige-Mocigemba, Sarah (Prof. Dr.) (Thesis advisor)
Format: Doctoral Thesis
Language:English
Published: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2023
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Summary:Crimes perpetrated by migrants and asylum seekers in different European cities sparked debates about the integration of citizens and refugees from predominantly Muslim countries. Media analyses demonstrate that perpetrators’ religion or cultural background are often connected with the deviant acts. However, people punish a deviant ingroup member more harshly compared to an outgroup counterpart for maintaining the positivity of the ingroup, thus expressing the so-called black sheep effect. Considering both the literature on the black sheep effect and the stereotypes towards Muslims as stigmatized outgroup, we tested several characteristics affecting the evaluation of ingroup deviance relying on the coping with ingroup deviance model and beyond. More importantly, we provide empirical tests and results beyond the coping with deviance model, while taking into account victim’s ethnicity as well as group characteristics, and shed light on differential patterns on not only individual deviance level but on cultural level. We provided participants with alleged newspaper articles and asked them to evaluate perpetrators, victims and their cultures depending on the specific Experiment. Across eight experiments (three pre-registered experiments) with a total of N = 4642 participants (analyses sample), we operationalized designs which were complementing each other while examining the robustness of the observed patterns. The first empirical contribution of the present dissertation examined whether German participants rely on (non)stereotypic information categories as interesting information sources to know further about. In line with the biased media representation of foreign perpetrators, participants indicated higher interest towards stereotypic information categories (e.g., religious affiliation, ethnic background) in face of an outgroup than an ingroup (German) perpetrator. As part of the second contribution, we examined the impact of guilt certainty, crime type, and infrahumanization on perpetrator and victim blaming. We observed an interesting shift of blame: the victim was judged more harshly when the perpetrator stemmed from the outgroup. We partly observed the black sheep effect which was independent of guilt certainty. Perpetrators of sexual violence received harsher judgments than perpetrators of property crime. We further expected increased perceptions of humanness (less infrahumanization of the outgroup) coming along with equal judgments of in- and outgroup perpetrators or even outgroup discrimination. This prediction was not confirmed, however, we observed valence differences which were not predicted based on the infrahumanization theory. We further replicated the pattern of manuscript one: participants indicated higher interest towards stereotypic information categories in face of an outgroup than ingroup perpetrator. The third contribution of the present dissertation examined more in depth the shift of blame from the outgroup perpetrator to the ingroup perpetrator and ingroup victim in the context of sexual violence. We further used the dimensions of the stereotype content model for describing the perpetrator further beyond manipulating his ethnicity. We observed the expected black sheep effect. In addition, we observed that warm and competent perpetrators were exonerated compared to their cold and incompetent counterparts. Again, participants judged the victim more harshly when the perpetrator stemmed from the outgroup. Manipulating the victim’s ethnicity indicated the same pattern: ingroup victim blaming when the perpetrator stemmed from the outgroup. Further, the ingroup victim was judged more harshly compared to the outgroup victim. More importantly, besides the judgments of individual level, here we examined attributions of blame towards the culture of the perpetrators and victims. Participants perceived the outgroup culture as more responsible for the deviant act than the ingroup culture. As part of the fourth contribution of the present dissertation, we examined the protection of the ingroup on individual level (black sheep effect) and on cultural terms (exoneration of the ingroup culture). In addition, we tested whether these would be affected by the mere presence of the outgroup (priming), the intergroup context and the degree of the ingroup’s entitativity (high vs. low). We observed robust effects on culture blaming: the ingroup culture was treated more leniently than the outgroup culture. In two out of three experiments, we observed the black sheep effect on individual level which was specifically prevalent when the intergroup context was salient. Priming and ingroup entitativity did not affect the judgments. The present dissertation hints to a shift of blame on individual level from the outgroup perpetrator to the ingroup victim and ingroup perpetrator. However, while one outgroup individual is not judged more harshly the outgroup culture is at stake. This is to the best of our knowledge the first empirical work hinting to ingroup favoritism on both individual and cultural level which may translate to the derogation of the outgroup as a whole. In sum, we recommend differentiating on attributional levels (individual and culture) as the discrepancies observed (individual: ingroup perpetrator > outgroup perpetrator, cultural: outgroup > ingroup) have remained hidden in case of examining the judgments only on individual level. Future work may benefit from investigating further the loss of individuality of outgroup deviant members who represent a homogenous culture.
DOI:10.17192/z2023.0532