Us vs. Them Thinking
The Power of Social Identity
Inspired by Henri Tajfel & John Turner
Our Human Mind has a tendency
to order people we meet into social groups.
This can evolve and root in us an Us vs. Them Mentality.
People seek out and commit themselves to groups
Because they get something back in return:
A Social Identity.
A Social Identity has powerful functions and influences you on:
How to behave
What to think
What to value
Social Identity provides us a Structure to our Identity,
and through that structure a way to achieve self-esteem.
Even your group’s successes trigger your own sense of worth.
In Social Psychology, an Ingroup
is the group a person identifies with.
By contrast, an Outgroup
are those groups an individual does not identify with.
Many people identify according to their background with:
Groups can be the source for Identity, but also the cause of Division:
Homogeneity: we tend to perceive members of
a group as similar to oneanother
Polarization: groups can increase separation of
its members from other groups
Us vs.Them Thinking can have significant Social Impact, such as:
Social Influence: we tend to shift our
beliefs in line with the social norms of our Ingroup
In-Group Favoritism: we tend to have positive evaluations
of our in-group’s status, intentions and actions
Out-Group Derogation: we tend to project threats onto an
out-group and by that internally justify discrimination
There is Good News too:
Research shows evidence that Us vs.Them Thinking can be changed.
We can increase our Awareness and transform our Interactions.
But it does not happen by itself!
It needs Openness, Commitment and Practice.
We can learn the art of fierce compassion:
practicing letting go of rigid Us vs. Them thinking.
US VS. THEM