We are, Therefore They Aren't: Ingroup Construal as a Standard of Comparison for Outgroup Judgments, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Five studies tested the assumptions: (a) that ingroups are habitually used as a standard of comparison for outgroup judgments, and (b) that outgroup judgments are generally contrasted away from a momentary construal of the ingroup. Results generally support these assumptions. Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrated increased activation levels of ingroup knowledge as a result of corresponding outgroup judgments. Experiments 3 and 4 showed that outgroup judgments depend not only on cognitively accessible outgroup exemplars, but also on accessible ingroup exemplars. Finally, Experiment 5 demonstrated that the impact of accessible ingroup exemplars on outgroup judgments is mediated by changes in the construal of the ingroup, such that: (a) outgroups were judged lower with regard to a given trait the higher participants perceived their ingroup with regard to that trait, and (b) controlling for the effect of ingroup construal attenuated the obtained effects on outgroup judgments.
Bert Gawronski, Galen Bodenhausen, Rainer Banse
Gawronski, Bert, Galen Bodenhausen, and Rainer Banse. 2005. We are, Therefore They Aren't: Ingroup Construal as a Standard of Comparison for Outgroup Judgments. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 41(5): 515-526.