United we stand: Intergroup conflict moderates the intergroup sensitivity effect

Amarina, Matthew J. Hornsey, Cindy Gallois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Ingroup members who criticize their group face much less resistance than outgroup members who say the same thing (the intergroup sensitivity effect). In the context of intergroup conflict, however, it was predicted that treatment of ingroup critics would not be so generous. Muslim Indonesians read an extract from an interview in which the speaker criticized Muslims. The comments were attributed to either another Muslim or to a Christian. Before reading the criticism, half of the participants had read an article describing intense conflict between Muslims and Christians in Indonesia, whereas the other half read a neutral article. As predicted, negativity toward the ingroup critic and the ingroup critic's comments increased in the conflict salience condition, to the point that the intergroup sensitivity effect disappeared. However, conflict salience did not have an effect on attributions of motive or on agreement with the message. Implications for our understanding of "patriotic criticism" are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-177
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


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