Our flaws are more human than yours: ingroup bias in humanizing negative characteristics

Koval, Peter, Laham, Simon M., Haslam, Nick, Bastian, Brock and Whelan, Jennifer A. (2012) Our flaws are more human than yours: ingroup bias in humanizing negative characteristics. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38 3: 283-295. doi:10.1177/0146167211423777

Author Koval, Peter
Laham, Simon M.
Haslam, Nick
Bastian, Brock
Whelan, Jennifer A.
Title Our flaws are more human than yours: ingroup bias in humanizing negative characteristics
Journal name Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0146-1672
Publication date 2012-03-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0146167211423777
Volume 38
Issue 3
Start page 283
End page 295
Total pages 13
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Subject 3200 Psychology
3207 Social Psychology
3300 Social Sciences
Formatted abstract
Four studies investigated whether people tend to see ingroup flaws as part of human nature (HN) to a greater degree than outgroup flaws. In Study 1, people preferentially ascribed high HN flaws to their ingroup relative to two outgroups. Study 2 demonstrated that flaws were rated higher on HN when attributed to the ingroup than when attributed to an outgroup, and no such difference occurred for positive traits. Study 3 replicated this humanizing ingroup flaws (HIF) effect and showed that it was (a) independent of desirability and (b) specific to the HN sense of humanness. Study 4 replicated the results of Study 3 and demonstrated that the HIF effect is amplified under ingroup identity threat. Together, these findings show that people humanize ingroup flaws and preferentially ascribe high HN flaws to the ingroup. These ingroup humanizing biases may serve a group-protective function by mitigating ingroup flaws as "only human.".
Keyword Humanness
Human nature
Ingroup bias
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online before print September 22, 2011.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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