Social Indicators Research

, Volume 100, Issue 1, pp 137–148 | Cite as

New Zealand = Māori, New Zealand = Bicultural: Ethnic Group Differences in a National Sample of Māori and Europeans

  • Jessica F. Harding
  • Chris G. SibleyEmail author
  • Andrew Robertson


New Zealand (NZ) Europeans show a unique implicit bicultural effect, with research using the Implicit Association Test consistently showing that they associate Māori (the Indigenous peoples) and their own (dominant/advantaged majority) group as equally representative of the nation. We replicated and extended this NZ = bicultural effect in a small online national sample of Māori and NZ Europeans. The NZ European majority showed a consistent NZ = bicultural effect. Māori, in contrast, showed an automatic ingroup NZ = Māori effect. These results are contrary to predictions derived from Social Identity Theory and System Justification Theory, and instead seem more consistent with a model incorporating the pervasive effects of culture-specific symbols on automatic representations of the national category.


National identity Implicit attitudes Māori New Zealand Social representations 



This research was funded by Performance Based Research Funds awarded to Chris G. Sibley by the University of Auckland. We thank Annelise Moberly, Missy Purnomo, and Max Harris for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.


  1. Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. London. United Kingdom: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
  2. Devos, T., & Banaji, M. R. (2005). American = White? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 447–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dovidio, J. F., Gaertner, S. L., & Saguy, T. (2009). Commonality and the complexity of “we”: Social attitudes and social change. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 13, 3–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fiske, S. T., Xu, J., Cuddy, A. C., & Glick, P. (1999). (Dis)respecting versus (dis)liking: Status and interdependence predict ambivalent stereotypes of competence and warmth. Journal of Social Issues, 55, 473–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Greenwald, A. G., Nosek, B. A., & Banaji, M. R. (2003). Understanding and using the implicit association test: I. An improved scoring algorithm. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 197–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Jackson, B., & Fischer, R. (2007). Biculturalism in employee selection or ‘who should get the job’? Perceptions of Māori and Pakeha job applicants in a NZ European student sample. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 36, 100–108.Google Scholar
  7. Jost, J. T., & Banaji, M. R. (1994). The role of stereotyping in system-justification and the production of false consciousness. British Journal of Social Psychology, 22, 1–27.Google Scholar
  8. Jost, J. T., Banaji, M. R., & Nosek, B. A. (2004). A decade of system justification theory: Accumulated evidence of conscious and unconscious bolstering of the status quo. Political Psychology, 25, 881–919.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Liu, J. H. (2005). History and identity: A system of checks and balances for Aotearoa/New Zealand. In J. H. Liu, T. McCreanor, T. McIntosh, & T. Teaiwa (Eds.), New Zealand identities: Departures and Destinations (pp. 69–87). Wellington, NZ: Victoria University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Liu, J. H., & Hilton, D. (2005). How the past weighs on the present: Social representations of history and their role in identity politics. British Journal of Social Psychology, 44, 537–556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Liu, J. H., & Sibley, C. G. (2009). Culture, social representations, and peacemaking: A symbolic theory of history and identity. In C. Montiel & N. Noor (Eds.), Peace psychology in Asia (pp. 21–39). UK: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Liu, J. H., Wilson, M. W., McClure, J., & Higgins, T. R. (1999). Social identity and the perception of history: Cultural representations of Aotearoa/New Zealand. European Journal of Social Psychology, 29, 1021–1047.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mummendey, A., & Wenzel, M. (1999). Social discrimination and tolerance in intergroup relations: Reactions to intergroup difference. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3, 158–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nosek, B. A., Banaji, M. R., & Greenwald, A. G. (2002). Harvesting implicit group attitudes and beliefs from a demonstration website. Group Dynamics, 6, 101–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Sibley, C. G. (2010). The dark duo of post-colonial ideology: A model of symbolic exclusion and historical negation. Manuscript submitted for publication. Google Scholar
  16. Sibley, C. G., & Barlow, F. K. (2009). Ubiquity of whiteness in majority group national imagination: Australian = White, but New Zealander does not. Australian Journal of Psychology, 61, 119–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sibley, C. G., & Liu, J. H. (2004). Attitudes towards biculturalism in New Zealand: Social dominance and Pakeha attitudes towards the general principles and resource-specific aspects of bicultural policy. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 33, 88–99.Google Scholar
  18. Sibley, C. G., & Liu, J. H. (2007). New Zealand = bicultural? Implicit and explicit associations between ethnicity and nationhood in the New Zealand context. European Journal of Social Psychology, 37, 1222–1243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sibley, C. G., Liu, J. H., & Khan, S. S. (2008). Who are ‘we’? Implicit associations between ethnic and national symbols for Māori and Pakeha in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 38, 2–14.Google Scholar
  20. Sibley, C. G., Hoverd, W. J., & Liu, J. H. (2009). Social representations of New Zealand national character and identity. Papers on Social Representations.Google Scholar
  21. Stephan, W. G., & Stephan, C. W. (2000). An integrated threat theory of prejudice. In S. Oskamp (Ed.), Reducing prejudice and discrimination (pp. 23–46). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  22. Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1979). An intergrative theory of intergroup conflict. In W. G. Austin & S. Worchel (Eds.), The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations (pp. 33–47). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  23. The Social Report. (2008). Wellington. NZ: Ministry of Social Development.Google Scholar
  24. Vaughan, G. M. (1978). Social change and intergroup preferences in New Zealand. European Journal of Social Psychology, 8, 297–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica F. Harding
    • 1
  • Chris G. Sibley
    • 3
    Email author
  • Andrew Robertson
    • 2
  1. 1.University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Colmar BruntonWellingtonNew Zealand
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations