Unpacking the Paradox of In-group Derogation Via Dialecticism, Power, and Affect

Christine Ma : Psychology/Spanish major

Mentor: Professor Kai Ping Peng, Psychology

How do you reconcile the phenomenon of self-directed racism by certain minority/oppressed groups towards their own members with the “universal” trend of ethnocentrism? Given past documentation of such “ingroup derogation,” questions remain: if ingroup derogation indeed exists among minorities and leads to negative affect towards other group members, then it will exert pressing social implications; on the other hand, if it is entirely the cognitive product of dialecticism, the predominantly Eastern belief system that embraces contradiction/opposing sides of each issue, then it would be a desirable process, rather than a collective “self hatred”. Thus this study will seek to test the occurrence of ingroup derogation and examine whether such a pattern can be traced to dialectical thinking; furthermore, it will examine whether such negative cognitions of one’s ingroup translate into undesirable affect towards the same ingroup members.