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Volume 47 Issue 12 (December 2017), Pages 647-702

Context matters: Explicit and implicit reminders of ingroup privilege increase collective guilt among foreigners in a developing country (pages 677-681)


We test three ways context matters in the study of intergroup inequality: where participants are approached, who interacts with participants, and how researchers ask participants questions. Regarding how, we replicate a finding that framing intergroup inequality as outgroup disadvantage rather than ingroup privilege reduces collective guilt in a novel context. Regarding where, we go beyond the laboratory to test foreigners in Nepal—a country where inequality is highly salient. Regarding who, we had participants approached by an ingroup (foreign) experimenter or an outgroup (Nepalese) experimenter. We found an outgroup disadvantage framing reduced collective guilt relative to ingroup privilege framing, but only when delivered by an ingroup member. This highlights the importance of taking where, who, and how into account to fully understand the contextual nature of intergroup emotion.

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