LaPiere, R.T. (1936). Type-rationalizations of group antipathy. Social Forces, 232-237.

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LaPiere (1936) sought to address the cause of outgroup antipathy. To illustrate his concept of "type rationalizations," LaPiere examined the relations between Armenian immigrants (minority group) and the rest of their community (majority) in Fresno, CA. LaPiere assessed the community's attitudes towards Armenians and examined government records to determine if reality matched people's perception of Armenians. The findings indicated that, in many instances, people's perceptions did not match reality. For example, creditors expressed that they believed Armenians were "untrustworthy" and likely to break credit contracts, but on the contrary, LaPiere found that Armenians generally had above-average credit ratings.

LaPiere demonstrated that people are likely to endorse negative attitudes towards minorities to justify discriminating against them even when reality did not match their perceptions. By revealing this discrepancy, he demonstrated that the actual behavior of an outgroup does not necessarily cause outgroup antipathy from the majority group. His work is considered a classic in psychology because it is a pre-cursor to system justification research.


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