The Influence of Perceived Threat on Motive Asymmetry and Intergroup Relations Between Groups in Conflict

Hughes, Rebecca Eleanor (2022). The Influence of Perceived Threat on Motive Asymmetry and Intergroup Relations Between Groups in Conflict. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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When considering motives for being in conflict, how do we explain why we are in conflict? How do we explain why others are in conflict with us? The Motive Bias is a specific intergroup bias in which the motives of the outgroup are perceived as due more to outgroup hate than ingroup love, and motives of the ingroup are perceived as more due to ingroup love than outgroup hate. In other words, we are in conflict because we want to protect our group and further our groups interests, but they are in conflict with us because they hate our group (instead of a similar desire to protect their group). This thesis explores two novel lines of research: how perceived threat relates to (Chapter 2) and influences (Chapter 3) the Motive Bias with groups in conflict, drawing upon intergroup literature investigating intergroup bias, with Integrated Threat Theory (ITT) as the framework. ITT posits that perceived threat increases prejudice, and research within intergroup bias indicates that threat is related to intergroup bias with increased threat relating to increased bias. With these considerations, we tested two different hypotheses of how threat may relate to the Motive Bias. Results of cross- sectional and longitudinal studies (Chapter 2) and experiments (Chapter 3) indicate that perceived realistic and symbolic threat relate to and influence the Motive Bias mainly through how the outgroups’ motives are judged. We then explore how these findings may be expanded upon with further research, and how they may be applied to improving intergroup relations.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Hilary Green Scholarship
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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