Initial Prejudices Create Cross-generational Intergroup Mistrust

Eric Luis Uhlmann, Aleksey Korniychuk, Tomasz Obloj

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Abstract

The present investigation modeled the emergence and persistence of intergroup bias and discrimination in artificial societies. Initial unfair prejudices held by members of a dominant group elicit confirmatory behavior (diminished cooperation) from members of a subordinate group via a self-fulfilling prophecy. Further, when individual learning is tempered by conformity to peers, inaccurate beliefs about the stigmatized subordinate group persist long-term. Even completely replacing dominant group members with enlightened individuals through generational change is inadequate to break the cycle of intergroup distrust and non-collaboration. The longer the enlightenment of a society is delayed, the more intergroup trust is irretrievably lost.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0194871
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume13
Issue number4
Number of pages14
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2018

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