Volltext-Downloads (blau) und Frontdoor-Views (grau)

Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them: The Ambivalent Effects of Existential Outgroup Threat on Helping Behavior

  • Social comparison theories suggest that ingroups are strengthened whenever important outgroups are weakened (e.g., by losing status or power). It follows that ingroups have little reason to help outgroups facing an existential threat. We challenge this notion by showing that ingroups can also be weakened when relevant comparison outgroups are weakened, which can motivate ingroups to strategically offer help to ensure the outgroups' survival as a highly relevant comparison target. In three preregistered studies, we showed that an existential threat to an outgroup with high (vs. low) identity relevance affected strategic outgroup helping via two opposing mechanisms. The potential demise of a highly relevant outgroup increased participants’ perceptions of ingroup identity threat, which was positively related to helping. At the same time, the outgroup’s misery evoked schadenfreude, which was negatively related to helping. Our research exemplifies a group's secret desire for strong outgroups by underlining their importance for identity formation.

Download full text files

  • Volltextdeu

    Akzeptierte Manuskriptversion

Export metadata


Author:Johannes BerendtORCiD, Esther van LeeuwenORCiD, Sebastian UhrichORCiD
DOI original:https://doi.org/10.1177/01461672231158097
Parent Title (English):Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2023
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Hannover
Release Date:2023/06/01
Tag:identity threat; intergroup processes; social comparison; social identity; strategic outgroup help
GND Keyword:Eigengruppe; Fremdgruppe; Hilfeleistung; Identitätsentwicklung
Link to catalogue:1886578818
Institutes:Fakultät III - Medien, Information und Design
DDC classes:150 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International