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Psychology Glossary

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Outgroup Bias



Outgroup Bias:

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Humans categorize things. The minute we meet someone we begin placing them into a variety of categories such as male/female, tall/short, attractive/unattractive, intelligent/unintelligent, etc. This is a natural and important part of being human as it helps us organize the very complex world around us. When we categorize people as being part of our own group, they are considered part of the "ingroup"; others are considered to be part of the "outgroup" (see the definitions of each for more details). Members of the outgroup are viewed as less similar and, as a result we may have biases against them. Thus, the outgroup bias includes negative categorizations, feelings, or ideas about people who are not part of our ingroup.