For better or for worse: The congruence of personal and group outcomes on targets’ responses to discrimination

K. Stroebe*, N. Ellemers, M. Barreto, A Mummendey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports two studies examining how (in-) congruence between personal and group outcomes affects emotional well-being, outcome attributions and procedural justice perceptions of individuals who are exposed to subtle discrimination. In Study 1 (N = 82) participants are either accepted or rejected in a (bogus) job application procedure, and either do or do not receive additional information indicating group-level disadvantage. In Study 2 (N  = 79), participants were either accepted or rejected, and received information indicating either advantage or disadvantage for members of their group. Results of both studies reveal that not only emotional well-being and outcome attributions, but also procedural justice perceptions are primarily guided by personal outcomes. That is, being informed of group-level disadvantage does not intensify but can instead alleviate negative affect resulting from personal rejection. Furthermore, group disadvantage is only seen as an indicator of an unjust procedure by individual group members who have personally suffered rejection. Results are discussed in relation to current insights on discrimination, tokenism and social justice. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-591
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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