When High Group Status Becomes a Burden Requesting Outgroup Help and Spying by Members of High and Low Status Groups

Täuber, S. & van Leeuwen, E., 2012, In : Social Psychology. 43, 2, p. 98-107 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

The present paper investigates the strategic motives that guide the quest for outgroup resources. Resources can be retrieved through spying and requesting help. Whereas both methods are means of obtaining valued resources from the outgroup, spying secures the ingroup's public image, while requesting help potentially damages this image by displaying the ingroup as incompetent and dependent. Two experiments (N = 99 and N = 99) supported the prediction that, when social change is feasible, members of high status groups spy more on the lower status group than vice versa. No difference was found in either study in the amount of help requested from the outgroup. Results from the second study showed that the effect did not occur when status relations were legitimate and thus unlikely to change. These findings advance our understanding of intergroup helping by demonstrating that strategic motives fundamentally shape aspects of help-seeking between groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • intergroup helping, visibility, social costs, stability of status relations, perceived threat, STATUS STABILITY, POWER RELATIONS, INTERGROUP, IDENTIFICATION, IDENTITY, THREAT

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