The Psychological Record

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 97–107 | Cite as

Implicit Cross-Community Biases Revisited: Evidence for Ingroup Favoritism in the Absence of Outgroup Derogation in Northern Ireland

  • Sean Hughes
  • Dermot Barnes-Holmes
  • Sinead Smyth
Original Article


Despite their application in virtually every area of psychological science, indirect procedures have rarely been used to study how Catholic and Protestants automatically respond to one another in Northern Ireland. What little evidence that does exist suggests that automatic ingroup favoritism occurs alongside outgroup derogation. That is, Catholics and Protestants automatically evaluate ingroup members more positively than outgroup members, and also evaluate outgroup members more negatively than ingroup members. The current study addresses a methodological limitation in this early work and provides the first (non-relativistic) assessment of intergroup relational responding in a post-conflict setting using the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP). Contrary to earlier findings, participants displayed evidence of ingroup favoritism in the absence of outgroup derogation.


Implicit cognition Northern Ireland IRAP 



The second author was supported by an Odysseus (Type 1) award from the Flanders Science Foundation (FWO) during preparation of this article. Electronic mail should be sent to This paper is dedicated the memory of Ed Cairns, who inspired and facilitated this particular line of research.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study was funded by a postgraduate scholarship to the first author from the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (IRCSET).

Conflict of Interest

The authors (SH, DBH, and SS) declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the host institution and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Studies with Animals

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Dublin College UniversityDublinIreland

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