Dealing with powerlessness: The strategic use of ingroup stereotypes

G. Jimenez-Moya, S. De Lemus, R. Rodriguez-Bailon, R. Spears

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Several studies have shown the impact of legitimacy on dealing with group power disadvantage. In the present paper we focus on the impact of internal legitimacy (i.e., the ingroup's appraisal of the fairness of its own powerless position) on the ingroup stereotype as a way of contesting the power disadvantage. Results show that especially in the internal legitimate conditions (i.e., when the ingroup seems to accept the low status position), participants reacted by way of overemphasizing the positive stereotypic dimension (warmth, Study 1), or contradicting the negative ingroup stereotype (perceiving the ingroup as less incompetent, Study 1 and 2). The last strategy was used especially by those highly identified with the ingroup, and when the legitimate/illegitimate argument is supported by a small ingroup sample (i.e., low social constraint, Study 2). Such responses can be understood as a social creativity strategy to contest the ingroup's disadvantaged and powerless position.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-367
Number of pages13
JournalRevista de Psicologia Social
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2012


  • Ingroup stereotype
  • internal legitimacy
  • power
  • status
  • FACE

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