Discussion Questions for Myers - "Ingroup and Outgroup"


1. What does Myers mean by the expression ‘the social definition of who you are’? What is your social definition? What are some terms used in the social definition of persons?

2. What does Myers mean by the expression ‘ingroup bias’? What are some examples of ingroup bias?

3. Why does group membership tend to promote prejudice against the outgroup? Why is this phenomenon especially pronounced in more “individualistic” cultures? What do “artificial” groupings reveal about this phenomenon?

4. What is the relationship between loyalty to one’s own group and prejudice against the members of other groups, as described by Myers?

5. What does Myers mean by referring to “social inertia,” in explaining prejudicial behavior? What are some examples of prejudicial behavior being an unquestioned social norm? Why does a person continue to follow such prejudices, on Myers’ account?

6. What is the value of non-conformity, as Myers seems to imply? Is there value in conformity, as well?

7. How are prejudices linked by Myers to childhood experience?

8. What is the prospect of lessening social prejudices, in Myers’ opinion? Do you agree or disagree with him? Why?