Compensation between competence and warmth in intergroup relations: Structural and strategic foundations
ABSTRACT: Recent work in intergroup relations stresses the role of two fundamental dimensions, competence and warmth. A pattern often encountered in people’s evaluations is one of compensation in that a group that is seen higher than another group on one of these two fundamental dimensions is also judged lower on the other. The present work extends previous research on compensation by examining boundary conditions and underlying psychological processes. A series of studies involving experimental and correlational evidence, minimal and real groups, and different kinds of conflict, reveal that compensation is more likely when the groups are in asymmetrical relation and share a cooperative view of the intergroup setting. Our data also suggest that, among members of low status groups, compensation is associated with social creativity. In contrast, and in line with the ‘noblesse oblige’ effect, members of high status group would seem to rely on compensation as a means to appear non-discriminatory.