The influence of group interaction on intergroup bias.
This study aimed to measure the effect of group interaction on the presence of intergroup bias. Does interaction within a group increase the prevalence of inter-group bias or favouritism? The study aimed to analyse the conflicting research surrounding bias between groups, and what factors most effectively increase the prevalence of such bias. Also, the study aimed to analyse the effect of interaction on general group cohesion.
The form of interaction used was a five minute ice-breaker game. Participants were assigned to either the “red” or “blue” team. Only half of the 40 participants involved in the study engaged in the ice-breaker. Two video game time-trial races (also assigned to either the red or blue team) were then shown to participants, to which they had to score both videos in terms of perceived performance. Both videos used the same car and track, with only a finishing time difference of 0.116 seconds. Only half of participants knew whether the racing videos belonged to either their team or the other team. This was to see if participants’ rating scores were influenced by knowing whether the videos were from their own team or not, thus measuring the level of bias present, if any. After rating both races, participants were asked to fill out a cohesion scale, in an attempt to measure the effect of group interaction on cohesion.
Group interaction made no significant difference to participants’ perceived performance scores. Whether they engaged in the ice-breaker or not, they did not change how they rated both their own team’s race and the opposing team’s. Knowing which team each video belonged to also had no effect on their ratings. Participants who were told about the team origins of each video rated the videos themselves similarly to those who were not told, suggesting that little bias was observable at all. The two sections of the cohesion scale used (“sense of belonging” and “feelings of morale”) were measured individually. Participants who engaged in an interaction tended to score higher in the “sense of belonging” section. No difference was found in the other section however.