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Intergroup Relations


Entry requirements

Only open to master’s students in Psychology with specialisation Social and Organisational Psychology.


The objectives of this course are 1. gaining in-depth knowledge of theories on intergroup relations, 2. developing a critical look on these theories and research, and 3. applying its content to specific societal problems in the context of inter-group relations.
To this end we will review state-of-the-art developments in theory and research on intergroup relations, stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. By reading ‘classic’ papers on these topics, as well as studying recent publications, students will gain advanced knowledge of a range of theoretical perspectives, including interdependence, social identity, self-categorization and socio-cognitive theories.

By means of debate assignments, students will learn to look from different theoretical perspectives at a single problem, and will practice the oral presentation of their views. By means of review assignments, students will learn to develop a critical look on available scientific knowledge. By means of policy recommendation assignments students will learn to apply theory on inter-group relations to practical problems, and to “pitch” their solution to the problem. The course is concluded with an exam.
This course will be offered twice during the academic year.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will have:

  • Learned about the diverse perspectives on intergroup relations;

  • Developed a critical look on theory and research on inter-group relations; and

  • Developed and “pitched” applications of theory on intergroup relations to tackle specific societal problems.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.


It is mandatory for all students to register for each exam and to confirm registration for each exam in My Studymap. This is possible up to and including 10 calendar days prior to the examination. You cannot take an exam without a valid pre-registration and confirmation in My Studymap. Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

5 three-hour seminars (attendance is obligatory).

Assessment method

The final grade is based on:

  • Rated oral presentations and written assignments (debate, reviews, policy recommendations; 50%),

  • An written exam comprising multiple-choice questions and one essay question (50%) about the central readings that are discussed in class as part of the debate, review, and policy-recommendation assignments (but excluding the additional readings for the debate assignment)

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

The literature for this course will consist of a series of about 15 chapters and research articles (covering both the “classics” and more recent developments).

  • Sherif, M. (1956). Experiments in group conflict. Scientific American, 195, 54-58.

  • Sherif, M. (1958). Superordinate goals in the reduction of intergroup conflict. American Journal of Sociology, 63, 449-356.

  • Ellemers, N., & Haslam, S.A. (2012). Social identity theory. In: P. van Lange, A. Kruglanski, & T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of theories of social psychology (pp. 379-398). London: Sage.

  • Gaertner, S. L. , Mann, J., Murrell, A., & Dovidio, J. F. (1989). Reducing intergroup bias: The benefits of recategorization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 239-249.

  • Stroebe, K., Lodewijkx, H. F. M., & Spears, R. (2005). Do unto others as they do unto you: Reciprocity and social identification as determinants of ingroup favouritism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 831-845.

  • Scheepers, D., Spears, R., Doosje, B., & Manstead, A. S. R. (2002). Integrating identity and instrumental approaches to intergroup discrimination: Different contexts, different motives. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1455-1467.

  • Gaertner, S. L., Dovidio, J. F., & Bachman, B. (1996). Revisiting the contact hypothesis: The induction of a common ingroup identity. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 20, 271-290.

  • Hornsey, M. J., & Hogg, M. A. (2000). Assimilation and diversity: An integrative model of subgroup relations. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 4, 143-156.

  • Wolsko, C., Park, B., Judd, C. M., & Wittenbrink, B. (2000). Framing interethnic ideology: Effects of multicultural and color-blind perspectives on judgments of groups and individuals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 635–654.

  • Verkuyten, M. (2010). Assimilation ideology and situational well-being among ethnic minority members. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 269-275.

  • Giessner, S. R., Viki, G. T., Otten, S., Terry, D. J. & Täuber, S. (2006). The challenge of merging: Merger patterns, pre-merger status and merger support. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 339-352.

  • Major, B., & Eliezer, D. (2010). Attributions to discrimination as a self-protective strategy: Evaluating the evidence. In C. Sedikides and M. Alicke (Eds.) Handbook of self-enhancement and self-protection (pp 320-337). New York: Guilford.

  • Steele, C. M., & Aronson, J. (1995). Stereotype threat and the intellectual test-performance of African-Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 797-811.

  • Kray, L. J., Thompson, L., & Galinsky, A. (2001). Battle of the sexes: Gender stereotype confirmation and reactance in negotiations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 942-958.

  • Inzlicht, M., & Kang, S. K. (2010). Stereotype threat spillover: How coping with threats to social identity affects aggression, eating, decision-making, and attention. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 467-481.

  • Word, C. O., Zanna, M. P., & Cooper, J., (1974). The nonverbal mediation of self-fulfilling prophecies in interracial interaction. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 10, 109–120.

  • Devine, P. G. (1989). Stereotypes and prejudice: Their automatic and controlled components. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 5–18.

  • Lepore, L., & Brown R. (1997). Category and stereotype activation: Is prejudice inevitable? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 275-287.

  • Bargh, J. A. (1999). The cognitive monster: The case against controllability of automatic stereotype effects. In S. Chaiken & Y. Trope (Eds.), Dual process theories in social psychology (pp. 361-382). New York: Guilford.

  • Mendoza, S. A., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Amodio, D. M. (2010). Reducing the expression of implicit stereotypes: Reflexive control through implementation intentions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 512-523.

  • Dovidio, J. F., & Gaertner, S. L. (1996). Affirmative action, unintentional racial biases, and intergroup relations. Journal of Social Issues, 52, 51–75.

Contact information

Dr. Daan Scheepers