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Shifting ingroups from TV2 Denmark

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Expert
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Ingroups can be pretty powerful. We tend to like people in our ingroups more than people in our outgroups (ingroup bias), and we tend to see people in our outgroups as being more like each other than people in our ingroups (outgroup homogeneity bias), for example.

There is much rhetoric about Democrats vs. Republicans, immigrants/refugees vs. native born, the wealthy vs. the middle class vs. the working poor, people with homes vs. people who are homeless. Depending on where you live, the groups may be different than these, but the groups are there.

The next time you cover ingroups/outgroups, ask your students what groups are most salient to them – on your campus or in your town/city. If you’re in a small college town, it may be the townies vs. those at the college. Write down the names of the groups where students can see them.

If time allows, ask your students to work in pairs or small groups to generate examples of how ingroup bias or outgroup homogeneity bias has affected or could affect how each group sees themselves and sees the other.

Next, show this 3-minute TV2 Denmark ad that aired in 2017.

Video Link : 2526

Ask students to share their reactions to the video. If they could get their-previously-identified groups together, what questions would they ask? Who likes pizza? Who likes dogs? Who likes cats? Who likes to drive?  

Close this activity by pointing out ingroups/outgroups shift depending on context. When one context—politics, for example—is continually salient, it’s easy to forget that we have plenty in common with members of our—say, politicaloutgroup. What strategies might your students use to help them remember that they may have a lot in common with an outgroup member, and to remember that, in a different context, that person is probably a member of their ingroup?

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About the Author
At Highline College near Seattle, Sue Frantz is working on her third decade in the psychology college classroom. Throughout her career, she has been an early adopter of new technologies in which she saw pedagogical potential. In 2009, she founded her blog, Technology for Academics. The blog features both new tech tools and tips for using not-so-new tools effectively. She currently serves as Vice President for Resources for APA Division 2: Society for the Teaching of Psychology. In 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the APA award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at a Two-Year College or Campus. In 2016, she received the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award. As the newest contributor to the Instructor Resource Manual for the David Myers and Nathan DeWall Introduction to Psychology textbooks, she is excited to bring teaching resources to you in this venue.