Whom Can I Trust? A Cooperative Contingencies Model of Strategic Intergroup Bias
57 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2013 Last revised: 27 Nov 2013
Date Written: November 26, 2013
We advance the Cooperative Contingencies Model (CCM) as an account for how and why intergroup segregation and disparities (e.g., in education, health, employment, justice) persist despite positive shifts in intergroup attitudes. Life in human societies hinges on cooperation, but decisions to cooperate with others are often risky. The CCM posits that because groups facilitate cooperation, decision-makers often have an instrumental incentive to preferentially coordinate with ingroup (over outgroup) members. Importantly, this incentive operates independently from other contributors to bias (e.g., social identity, ideology) and thus exists even for egalitarians. The CCM further posits, however, that the incentive to preferentially coordinate with ingroup members is contingent on the full set of cooperative requirements (how much people need to cooperate) and cooperative affordances (mechanisms available to facilitate cooperation) perceived in current contexts. Hypotheses regarding when people will exhibit strategic intergroup biases and how they can be reduced are derived from the model.
Keywords: intergroup relations, intergroup bias, prejudice, cooperation, interdependence, trust, decision-making
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