Self-esteem and favoritism toward novel in-groups: The self as an evaluative base

Richard H. Gramzow, Lowell Gaertner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


The self-as-evaluative base (SEB) hypothesis proposes that self-evaluation extends automatically via an amotivated consistency process to affect evaluation of novel in-groups. Four minimal group studies support SEB. Personal trait self-esteem (PSE) predicted increased favoritism toward a novel in-group that, objectively, was equivalent to the out-group (Study 1). This association was independent of information-processing effects (Study 1), collective self-esteem, right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), and narcissism (Studies 2 and 3). A self-affirmation manipulation attenuated the association between in-group favoritism and an individual difference associated with motivated social identity concerns (RWA) but did not alter the PSE effect (Study 3). Finally, the association between PSE and in-group favoritism remained positive even when the in-group was objectively less favorable than the out-group (Study 4).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-815
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


  • In-group favoritism
  • Intergroup perception
  • Self-enhancement
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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