Group Membership and Deviance Punishment

Are Deviant Ingroup Members Actually Judged more Negatively than Outgroup Ones?


  • Eric Bonetto Aix-Marseille Universite
  • Timothy S Carsel University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago Illinois
  • Jais Adam-Troian Department of Social Sciences, Canadian University Dubai
  • Florent Varet Université Catholique de Lille, Equipe OCES
  • Lindsay M Keeran University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago Illinois
  • Grégory Lo Monaco Aix Marseille Univ, ADEF, Marseille, France
  • Anthony Piermattéo Université Catholique de Lille, Equipe OCES



Deviance, Punishment, Subjective Group Dynamics, Replication


Deviance Punishment is an important issue for social-psychological research. Group members tend to punish deviance through rejection, ostracism and – more commonly – negative judgments. Subjective Group Dynamics proposes to account for social judgement patterns of deviant and conformist individuals. Relying on a group identity management perspective, one of the model’s core predictions is that the judgment of a deviant target depends on group membership. More specifically, the model predicts that deviant ingroup members should be judged more negatively than outgroup ones. Although this effect has been repeatedly observed over the past decades, there is a current lack of sufficiently powered studies in the literature. For the first time, we conducted tests of Subjective Group Dynamics in France and the US to investigate whether ingroup deviants were judged more harshly than outgroup ones. Across six experiments and an internal mini meta-analysis, we observed no substantial difference in judgment between ingroup and outgroup deviant targets, d = -0.01, 95% CI[-0.07, 0.06]. The findings’ implications for deviance management research are discussed.


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