Accountability Accentuates Interindividual-Intergroup Discontinuity by Enforcing Parochialism

T. Wildschut, F. Van Horen, C. Hart

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Interindividual-intergroup discontinuity is the tendency for relations between groups to be more competitive than relations between individuals. We examined whether the discontinuity effect arises in part because group members experience normative pressure to favor the ingroup (parochialism). Building on the notion that accountability enhances normative pressure, we hypothesized that the discontinuity effect would be larger when accountability is present (compared to absent). A prisoner's dilemma game experiment supported this prediction. Specifically, intergroup (compared to interindividual) interaction activated an injunctive ingroup-favoring norm, and accountability enhanced the influence of this norm on competitive behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1789
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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