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Consequences of rejection in intergroup conflict

Organizational Psychology, Social Psychology

When in conflict with other groups people are quite likely to experiences feelings of rejection. For example, others group may express anger or contempt about a group, explicitly state they don't like people of a group, or they may express negative stereotypes about a group. In different research projects with other researchers and students we examined the consequences of these rejection experiences on the extent to which people try to understand why rejection happens, they stereotype the other group, they feel negative emotions such as anger, and the extent to which they want to either solve or increase conflicts with other groups. We examined this in controlled lab experiments, and with groups in society that are likely to have rejection experiences in intergroup situations. For example, we have study these processes in relation to groups such as police officers, migrants, people who are HIV positive, Moroccan teenagers, and former detainees. So far, both lab experiments and studies in the field revealed that rejection experiences may have important consequences for intergroup conflicts.

Researchers and partners

Behavioural and Social Sciences, Psychology
Partners outside of the University of Groningen
  • Frans Oldersma (gemeente Groningen), Jan Broer (GGD)


Selection of BA and MA student projects
  • social rejection, (meta-)stereotyping, empathy, anger
  • social rejection, (meta-)stereotyping, empathy, anger


  • Postmes, T., Gordijn, E.H., Van Zomeren, M., Greijdanus, H., De Vos, B., Tauber, S., & Kamans, E. (2014). Escalation and de-escalation of intergroup conflict: The role of communication within and between groups. In C.K.W. de Dreu (Ed.). Social conflicts within and between groups (pp. 93-116). London and New York: Psychology Press.
  • Veldhuis, T.M., Gordijn, E.H., Lindenberg, S., & Veenstra, R. (2014). Vicarious group-based rejection: Creating a potentially dangerous mix of humiliation, powerlessness, and anger. PLoS One 9(4): e95421.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095421
  • Gordijn, E.H., & Boven, G. (2009). Loneliness among people with HIV in relation to locus of control and negative meta-stereotyping. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 31, 109-116.
  • Kamans, E. Gordijn, E.H., Oldenhuis, H.K.E., & Otten, S. (2009). What (I think) you see is what you get: Influence of prejudice on reciprocating negative meta-stereotypes among Dutch Moroccan teenagers. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39, 842-851.
Successful grant proposals and other achievements
  • Research grant NWO conflict and security theme: The role of communication in conflict escalation and de-escalation between ethnic groups (with Tom Postmes and Martijn van Zomeren)
  • Grant from Ministry of Justice: Evaluatie bijzondere opvang ?terroristenafdelingen?(with S. Lindenberg, R. Veenstra en T. Veldhuis)

University's focus areas

  • Sustainable Society
Last modified:10 January 2022 5.19 p.m.
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