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Anger and guilt about ingroup advantage explain the willingness for political action

Leach, C.W., Iyer, A. and Pedersen, A. (2006) Anger and guilt about ingroup advantage explain the willingness for political action. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32 (9). pp. 1232-1245.

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Three studies examined non-Aboriginal Australians’ guilt and anger about their ingroup’s advantage over structurally disadvantaged Aborigines. Study 1 showed that participants who perceived their ingroup as relatively advantaged perceived this inequality as unfair and felt guilt and anger about it. Anger, and to a lesser degree guilt, predicted the willingness to engage in political action regarding ingroup advantage. Study 2 showed both guilt and anger to be relatively self-focused because both were associated with appraising the ingroup’s (rather than the government’s) discrimination as responsible for ingroup advantage. Study 3 examined on participants especially willing to engage in political action to bring about systemic compensation to Aborigines. Anger about ingroup advantage was a potent predictor. Although guilt was associated with the abstract goal of systemic compensation, guilt did not explain willingness for political action. Results underline the importance of examining specific group-based emotions in intergroup relations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Research Centres and Institutes
Publisher: Sage
Copyright: © 2006 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
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