Self-Image Maintenance Motivation (SIMM) and outgroup prejudice

This paper introduces a measure created in social psychology for other purposes that we suggest measures one of the key processes motivating outgroup discrimination, and as such should explain variation in individuals’ standing tendencies to oppose outgroups. We argue that this measure gets closer to Taber and Young’s (2013) ideal of explaining “what with how” rather than simply “what with what.” The measure we propose is a measure of an individual’s Self-Image Maintenance Motivation (SIMM). It is adapted from the “Compassionate and Self-Image Goals Scale” devised and extensively validated by Crocker, Canevello and collaborators in their work on personal and intimate relationships (see, for example Crocker and Canevello 2008; Crocker, Canevello, and Lewis 2017). Please see the slides from our MPSA 2019 presentation, and contact me to obtain a draft of the current working paper.

Project collaborators/co-authors: Ethan Busby, Christopher Karpowitz, Haley Denler

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Joshua Gubler
Associate Professor of Political Science

Joshua Gubler is a comparative political psychologist studying intergroup cooperation and conflict, affect, emotion, persuasion, and motivation.