Determinanten und Konsequenzen der wahrgenommenen Legitimität von Statusunterschieden : ein Beitrag zur Toleranz zwischen Gruppen
Research demonstrates that the perceived legitimacy of intergroup status differences has profound effects on intergroup attitudes, emotions and behavior. However, there is only little intergroup research that predicts the perception of legitimacy. In this thesis it is hypothezised that the perception of legitimate or illegitime status relations depends upon the perceived relative prototypicality of the ingroup for the inclusive category. Since the prototype of the inclusive category provides a normative comparison standard for subgroup evaluation, similarity to this standard (i.e. prototypicality) should be positively evaluated and used to justify high status. Six studies have been conducted to test the hypotheses. Two studies using natural intergroup contexts offered correlational data in support of the predicted relationship. A third study, using Germans as ingroup with Poles as outgroup and Europe as inclusive category, demonstrated that the link between prototypicality and legitimacy is contingent upon the valence of the inclusive category. In order to elucidate the causal direction, three more studies manipulated relative prototypicality: Two of them used an artificial intergroup context and additionally introduced status as a moderator variable. Overall, this research offers strong support for the hypothesis that legitimacy is related to prototypicality and that this relation is moderated by ingroup status and valence of the inclusive category. Its relation to other models and implications for further research are thoroughly discussed.