Framing advantageous inequity with a focus on others

game pieces in different colors shaped like people on a surface with different colored circles

Inequity can be understood in near-identical, but different ways: Are persistent disparities functions of advantages bestowed on one group, or disadvantages applied to another? Framing inequity as the former–an ingroup advantage, rather than an outgroup disadvantage–leads the better-off to be more support of redistributive policies.

However, group psychology is different from individual psychology. This paper tests and compares how subjects respond when facing inequities at both the individual- and group-level.

Key Findings

  • Advantaged individuals were more in favor of redistribution when others’ inequities were framed at the individual-level than at the group-level.
  • Additionally, this change corresponded to variance in negative attribution of the other: Subjects displayed less negative attribution about the disadvantaged individuals than the disadvantaged groups.
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