Divergent Intergroup Perspectives

John F. Dovidio, Tamar Saguy, Tessa V. West, Samuel L. Gaertner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Interactions between members of different groups are substantially more challenging cognitively, emotionally, and socially than are exchanges between members of the same group. This chapter considers how these processes form a psychological basis for divergent intergroup perspectives. In particular, perceptions of membership in different social categories influence evaluations and expectations of others. These processes create initial biases that may systematically be reinforced by the ways people behave (often automatically and unconsciously) toward others, how they interpret others' behaviors, and the different goals they have in intergroup interaction. Efforts to appear unbiased can also sometimes backfire, contributing to miscommunication and increasing tension. Nevertheless, divergent group perspectives and consequent misunderstandings, tension, and conflict are far from inevitable. Structural, contextual, and psychological interventions can promote mutual understanding and coordinated efforts to improve intergroup relations, reduce conflict, and achieve peace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Intergroup Conflict
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199971121
ISBN (Print)9780199747672
StatePublished - Nov 21 2012


  • Discrimination
  • Intergroup bias
  • Intergroup contact
  • Power
  • Prejudice
  • Social categorization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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