The Role of Comparative Victim Beliefs in Predicting Support for Hostile versus Prosocial Intergroup Outcomes

Johanna Ray Vollhardt*, J. Christopher Cohrs, Zsolt Péter Szabó, Mikołaj Winiewski, Michelle Sinayobye Twali, Eliana Hadjiandreou, Andrew McNeill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Collective memories of historical ingroup victimization can be linked to prosocial or hostile intergroup outcomes. We hypothesize that such discrepant responses are predicted by different construals of the ingroup’s victimization in relation to other groups (i.e., comparative victim beliefs). Using improved measures of inclusive and exclusive victim beliefs, with a global or regional reference group, multigroup structural equation modeling showed across four different groups (Armenian Americans [N=265], Jewish Americans [N=297], Hungarians [N=301], Poles [N =468]) that inclusive victim beliefs predict prosocial, conciliatory attitudes, while exclusive victim beliefs predict hostile attitudes towards historical perpetrator groups and (in the Polish and Hungarian samples) religious and ethnic outgroups targeted in the present. Moreover, comparative victim beliefs mediated effects of more general psychological orientations (ingroup superiority, universal orientation, perspective‐taking) on intergroup outcomes. These findings suggest the importance of considering distinct collective victim beliefs, and different contexts in research on collective victimhood.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Early online date5 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 May 2021

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