- Youths' displaced aggression against in- and out-group peers: An experimental examination
- Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 115 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
People often displace their anger and aggression against innocent targets, sometimes called scapegoats. Tragic historic events suggest that members of ethnic minority out-groups may be especially likely to be innocent targets. The current experiment examined displaced aggression of Dutch youths against Dutch in-group peers versus Moroccan out-group peers. Participants (N = 137, Mage = 11.6 years) completed a personal profile that was allegedly evaluated by Dutch peer judges. After randomly receiving negative or neutral feedback from these peers, participants were given the opportunity to aggress against other innocent Dutch and Moroccan peers by taking money earned away from them. Results showed that in response to negative feedback, participants displaced aggression disproportionally against innocent Moroccan out-group targets. This effect was not driven by ethnic prejudice; in both conditions, participants holding more negative attitudes of Moroccans engaged in higher levels of aggression regardless of the ethnicity of the target.
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