Us Vs Them: Positive Information of Out-group members is Harder to Process

Laurens Van Der Cruyssen, Kris Baetens, Ning Ma, Frank Van Overwalle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


Previous research has shown that the mere categorization of individuals into minimal groups will evoke in-group favoritism. The current study combines the minimal group paradigm with an ERP-experiment of spontaneous trait inferences using an expectancy-violation paradigm. 53 subjects first performed a fake reaction-time (RT) task to allow social categorization (in-group/out-group). One group of subjects (SoCat) all received the same group label based on their results on the RT task, another group of subjects (NoCat) did not receive a group label after the RT task and continued directly to the ERP-recording. During the ERP-recording all subjects read behavioral sentences implying a personality trait of a protagonist. The protagonist either belonged to the in- or out-group, depending on the experimental condition (SoCat; NoCat) to which the subject belonged. The last sentence describing each protagonist was consistent, inconsistent or irrelevant to the previously implied trait. By comparing consistent versus inconsistent sentences, we can measure temporal as well as spatial localization of trait-inferences. We expect trait inferences about an in-group member to evoke a P3-component. Trait inferences about out-group members are expected to generate a P3-component as well, though with a later onset. A small difference in source localization is also expected, involving the medial prefrontal cortex at a more ventral location for in-group members than out-group members.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPoster presentation at the annual meeting of the Belgian Association for Psychological Sciences 2010, Brussels, Belgium
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventUnknown -
Duration: 1 Jan 2010 → …


Period1/01/10 → …


  • Social Categorization
  • ERP


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