Group bias (intra-group favoritism)

The group bias (also known as favoritism group or intragroup bias) is a tendency for human beings to be most useful and positive for members of their own group than to people outside the group. Initially observed in the early 1900s, group bias occurs due to the typical human behavior of forming groups and group identities. Examples of such group identities include ethnicity, political ideologies, religious beliefs and geographical identities.

Read too:

  • Authority bias, celebrities and lab coats
  • Courtesy bias: do you lie to not displease?
  • The Curse of Knowledge (Cognitive bias)
  • Deindividualization and why you are an asshole in a group
  • Spectator effect: Denial of aid in front of others

The group bias can also be seen in artificial environments laboratory – where participants are randomly divided into arbitrary groups, they are more likely to support and assist members of their own group rather than members of other groups. Group membership can change over time, so group bias can be witnessed as having a flow nature.

An example of group bias would be in an election. In the beginning, members within a political party often argue with each other and split into factions that support different candidates within the same party. They can exhibit stereotyped thoughts and negative behavior towards other groups. But over time, after a candidate is selected to run, usually party members participate in a group that supports the candidate who was previously an opponent, so attitudes change and the group bias continues to work.

Some theories that explain group bias include the  Realistic Conflict Theory ( TCR ), which postulates conflict over shared resources, which promotes bias within the group, and the Social Identity Theory , which proposes the creation of distinct individual identities , along with a cultural identity, increasing the likelihood of this bias.

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