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Taylor & Francis


Previous work studying social comparisons suggests that people are likely to assimilate to ingroup members (e.g. Ledgerwood & Chaiken, 2007) but can also contrast from ingroup members if outgroup members are present (Blanton, Miller, & Dye, 2002). The present research built upon these findings by including a no-comparison control group to test for true contrast and assimilation effects. Across two studies, women primed with a gender-math stereotype received false feedback about their performance on a math task; and in some conditions, they learned of the performance of ostensible male and/or female co-participants. Relative to a no-comparison control, we did not see evidence of ingroup assimilation in either study. However, in both studies, we found that participants were likely to contrast their self-evaluations away from downward targets, regardless of group membership. This suggests that self-enhancement motivations may be stronger than the drive for ingroup assimilation.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The Journal of Social Psychology on May 3, 2019], available online:



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