The role of threat and perspective taking on estimations of out-group standards of injustice
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The present experiment aimed to assess the effects of perspective taking and perceived threat to an in-group’s economic resources on estimated out-group standards of injustice. Out-group standards of injustice are defined as the amount of evidence of inequality ingroup members estimate that an out-group needs in order to conclude that a specific inequality is unfair (Miron et al., 2017a). Prior research suggests that inequality between social groups remains difficult to change due to the differences in standards of injustice set by advantaged and disadvantaged groups when evaluating existing inequality (Miron et al., 2011). Work by Miron et al. (2017b) suggests that the discrepancy between men’s and women’s injustice standards regarding the gender wage gap may be due to the fact that acknowledging the illegitimacy of their in-group advantages may be threatening to men. In order to test this explanation, the current study assessed how perceived threat to one’s in-group influences men’s estimated out-group standards regarding the gender wage gap by randomly assigning men to either take women’s perspective or remain objective about women’s situation and to either be exposed to high levels versus low levels of threat via potential policies to resolve the gender wage gap. Results from the current study demonstrate the importance of gender group identification on men’s estimation of women’s standards, There was also a significant 3-way interaction between gender group identification, the perspective-taking manipulation, and the threat level manipulations on estimated outgroup standards. Specifically, men with high gender group identification in the low threat condition reported lower out-group standards when taking women’s perspective than men with high gender group identification who were asked to stay objective. These results advance the literature on intergroup relations by demonstrating the importance of group identification in addressing potential policy changes.
Gender identity in the workplace.
Equal pay for equal work.