Minimal Group Paradigm


The minimal group paradigm is a procedure that researchers use to create new social groups in the laboratory. The goal is to categorize individuals into groups based on minimal criteria that are relatively trivial or arbitrary. For example, the classic procedure involves asking participants to rate paintings made by two artists with similar abstract styles. Participants are then told that they are members of a group that prefers one of the painters to the other. This is their new ingroup, and the people who prefer the other painter represent a new outgroup. In reality, participants are assigned randomly to one of the two groups. In addition, the members of each group remain anonymous and group members have no interaction or contact with one another. Thus, ...

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