Destructive intergroup behaviour (DIB) represents collective action taken with the proximal intent of harming an outgroup or its members. It was hypothesized that endorsement of DIB is most likely when the ingroup's standards are believed to reflect those of the superordinate category, and when the target group is believed to have violated an absolute standard (an essential requirement). Two studies conducted in distinct social contexts provided support for this theorizing. In Study 1, African-Americans were more likely to endorse DIB when they believed the targeted police officer had violated an absolute standard. In Study 2, strong beliefs that prodemocracy standards ought to be the shared standards of all Hongkongers predicted support for DIB taken by the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement, but only when it was believed that Hong Kong officials had violated an absolute standard. These findings suggest that when an outgroup is believed to have violated an absolute standard, support for DIB becomes more likely, particularly when supporters believe their ingroup's standards ought to be reflected by the broader society.
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Thesis advisor: Wright, Stephen
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