“They all look the same to me.” This kind of statement about an outgroup is often heard. The tendency to perceive outgroups as more homogeneous, or less variable, than ingroups is called the outgroup homogeneity effect. This entry describes how the outgroup homogeneity effect was first experimentally demonstrated, reviews evidence examining the robustness of the effect, and discusses some factors that influence the magnitude of the effect.

Background Research

In some of the first work on the outgroup homogeneity effect, men and women were asked to rate men and women on positive and negative dimensions that were stereotypically masculine or feminine. Results showed that over and above any overall ingroup preference (i.e., rating one's own group more positively than the outgroup), participants judged the outgroup more ...

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