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Group Morality and Intergroup Relations: Cross-Cultural and Experimental Evidence

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Document pages: 47 pages

Abstract: An observational, cross-cultural study and an experimental study assessed behaviors indicative of a moral code that condones, and even values hostility toward outgroups. The cross-cultural study, which used data from the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample (Murdock & White, 1969), found that for preindustrial societies, as loyalty to the ingroup increased the tendency to value outgroup violence more than ingroup violence increased, as did the tendencies to engage in more external than internal warfare, and enjoy war. The experimental study found that relative to guilt-prone group members who were instructed to remain objective, guilt-prone group members who were instructed to be empathic with their ingroup were more competitive in an intergroup interaction. The findings from these studies suggest that group morality is associated with intergroup conflict.

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