Identity Centrality and In-Group Superiority Differentially Predict Reactions to Historical Victimization and Harm Doing

  • Rezarta Bilali University of Massachusetts Boston


Two U.S. studies report a differential effect of identity centrality and in-group superiority on reactions to in-group victimization and in-group harm-doing. Study
1 (N = 80) found that higher identity centrality predicted less justification for freely-recalled in-group victim events, whereas higher in-group superiority predicted
more justification for freely-recalled in-group harm-doing events. Study 2 (N = 105) reexamined these findings in specific contexts of historical victimization
(Pearl Harbor) and harm-doing (Hiroshima and Nagasaki), finding that in-group superiority was a predictor of reactions to historical in-group harm-doing
(justification, emotional reactions, importance of events), whereas centrality was a predictor of reactions to historical in-group victimization.

Author Biography

Rezarta Bilali, University of Massachusetts Boston
Rezarta Bilali has a PhD in Social Psychology with a concentration in the Psychology of Peace and Violence from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Her research focuses on issues of identity, collective memory, and intergroup images in contexts of violent conflict.
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