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:





and/or Religion.

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:


Sharon Salzberg

redefining strength,

deconstructing isolation, 

practicing letting go of rigid Us vs. Them thinking.


By crossingborderseducation


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