Social Justice Research

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 81–96 | Cite as

Lessons from Morality-Based Social Identity: The Power of Outgroup “Hate,” Not Just Ingroup “Love”

  • Michael T. ParkerEmail author
  • Ronnie Janoff-Bulman


Based on the unique features of morality, we suggest that group memberships rooted in moral convictions are a special classification of inherently threatening social groups in which outgroup “hate” naturally occurs with ingroup “love.” Three studies explored emotional reactions to ingroups and outgroups by individuals whose group memberships were either morality-based or non-morality-based. Results of each study indicated that individuals in morality-based groups reported less positive ingroup emotions and more negative outgroup emotions and threat than did those in non-morality-based groups. Additionally, strength of morality-based identification was predicted by attitudes about both the ingroup and the outgroup, but only attitudes about the ingroup predicted identification for non-morality-based groups. Together, these studies suggest a necessary interdependence of ingroup positivity and outgroup negativity for social groups based in morality. We conclude that negative outgroup-related emotions may be just as important as positive ingroup-related emotions for social identification based on moral convictions.


Morality Social identity Intergroup relations 


  1. Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  2. Bar-Tal, D. (1998). Group beliefs as an expression of social identity. In S. Worchel, J. F. Morales, D. Páez, & J. C. Deschamps (Eds.), Social identity: International perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  3. Brewer, M. B. (1979). In-group bias in the minimal intergroup situation: A cognitive-motivational analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 86, 307–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brewer, M. B. (1999). The psychology of prejudice: Ingroup love or outgroup hate? Journal of Social Issues, 55, 429–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown, R. J. (2000). Social identity theory: Past achievements, current problems, and future challenges. European Journal of Social Psychology, 30, 745–778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Correll, J., & Park, B. (2005). A model of the ingroup as a social resource. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 9, 341–359.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cottrell, C. A., & Neuberg, S. L. (2005). Different emotional reactions to different groups: A sociofunctional threat-based approach to “prejudice”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 770–789.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. De Waal, F. (1996). Good natured: The origins of right and wrong in humans and other animals. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Gray, K., & Wegner, D. M. (2009). Moral typecasting: Divergent perceptions of moral agents and moral patients. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 505–520.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gray, K., Young, L., & Waytz, A. (2012). Mind perception is the essence of morality. Psychological Inquiry, 23, 101–124.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Greene, J. D., Sommerville, R. B., Nystrom, L. E., Darley, J. M., & Cohen, J. D. (2001). An fMRI investigation of emotional engagement in moral judgment. Science, 293, 2105–2108.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Haidt, J. (2001). The emotional dog and its rational tail: A social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. Psychological Review, 108, 814–834.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Haidt, J. (2007). The new synthesis in moral psychology. Science, 316, 998–1002.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Haidt, J. (2008). Morality. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3, 65–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Haidt, J., & Graham, J. (2007). When morality opposes justice: Conservatives have moral intuitions that liberals may not recognize. Social Justice Research, 20, 98–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Haidt, J., & Joseph, C. (2004). Intuitive ethics: How innately prepared intuitions generate culturally variable virtues. Daedalus, Fall(1), 55–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Haidt, J., Rosenberg, E., & Hom, H. (2003). Differentiating diversities: Moral diversity is not like other kinds. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33, 1–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Halevy, N., Bornstein, G., & Sagiv, L. (2008). “In-group love” and “out-group hate” as motives for individual participation in intergroup conflict: A new game paradigm. Psychological Science, 19, 405–411.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Halevy, N., Weisel, O., & Bornstein, G. (2012). “In-group love” and “out-group hate” in repeated interaction between groups. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 25, 188–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hare, R. M. (1981). Moral thinking: Its levels, method, and point. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hodson, G., Dovidio, J. F., & Esses, V. M. (2003). Ingroup identification as a moderator of positive–negative asymmetry in social discrimination. European Journal of Social Psychology, 33, 215–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hogg, M. A. (2003). Social identity. In M. R. Leary & J. P. Tangney (Eds.), Handbook of self and identity (pp. 462–479). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  23. Horberg, E. J., Oveis, C., Keltner, D., & Cohen, A. B. (2009). Disgust and the moralization of purity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 963–976.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Janoff-Bulman, R. (2009). To provide or protect: Motivational bases of political liberalism and conservatism. Psychological Inquiry, 20, 120–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Janoff-Bulman, R., & Parker, M. T. (2012). Moral bases of public distrust: Politics, partisanship, and compromise. In R. Kramer & T. Pittinsky (Eds.), Restoring trust in organizations and leaders: Enduring challenges and emerging answers. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Janoff-Bulman, R., Sheikh, S., & Hepp, S. (2009). Proscriptive versus prescriptive morality: Two faces of moral regulation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 521–537.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kant, I. (1947). Fundamentals of the metaphysics of morals. New York: Longmans. (Original work published 1786.)Google Scholar
  28. Krebs, D. L. (2008). Morality: An evolutionary account. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3, 149–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Meng, X. L., Rosenthal, R., & Rubin, D. B. (1992). Comparing correlated correlation coefficients. Psychological Bulletin, 111, 172–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mullen, E., & Skitka, L. J. (2006). Exploring the psychological underpinnings of the moral mandate effect: Motivated reasoning, group differentiation, or anger? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 629–643.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mummendey, A., Simon, B., Carsten, D., Grünert, M., Haeger, G., Kessler, S., et al. (1992). Categorization is not enough: Intergroup discrimination in negative outcome allocation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 28, 125–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mummendey, A., & Wenzel, M. (1999). Social discrimination and tolerance in intergroup relations: Reactions to intergroup difference. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3, 158–174.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nucci, L. (1982). Conceptual development in the moral and conventional domains: Implications for values education. Review of Educational Research, 52, 93–122.Google Scholar
  34. Nucci, L. (2001). Education in the moral domain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Park, B., & Judd, C. M. (2005). Rethinking the link between categorization and prejudice within the social cognition perspective. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 9, 108–130.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2008). Asymptotic and resampling strategies for assessing and comparing indirect effects in multiple mediator models. Behavior Research Methods, 40, 879–891.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Riek, B. M., Mania, E. W., & Gaertner, S. L. (2006). Intergroup threat and outgroup attitudes: A meta-analytic review. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10, 336–353.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rozin, P. (1999). The process of moralization. Psychological Science, 10, 218–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rozin, P., Lowery, L., Imada, S., & Haidt, J. (1999). The CAD triad hypothesis: A mapping between three moral emotions (contempt, anger, disgust) and three moral codes (community, autonomy, divinity). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 574–586.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Skitka, L. J., Bauman, C. W., & Sargis, E. G. (2005). Moral conviction: Another contributor to attitude strength or something more? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 895–917.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Skitka, L. J., & Houston, D. A. (2001). When due process is of no consequence: Moral mandates and presumed defendant guilt or innocence. Social Justice Research, 14, 305–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Skitka, L. J., & Mullen, E. (2002). The dark side of moral conviction. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 2, 35–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Stephan, W. G., & Renfro, C. L. (2002). The role of threat in intergroup relations. In D. M. Mackie & E. R. Smith (Eds.), From prejudice to intergroup emotions: Differentiated reactions to social groups (pp. 191–207). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  44. Stephan, W. G., & Stephan, C. W. (2000). An integrated threat theory of prejudice. In S. Oskamp (Ed.), Reducing prejudice and discrimination (pp. 23–45). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  45. Turiel, E. (1983). The development of social knowledge: Morality and convention. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Zhong, C., Phillips, K. W., Leonardelli, G. J., & Galinsky, A. D. (2008). Negational categorization and intergroup behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 793–806.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

Personalised recommendations