IBDS Seminar - Us versus them: When people think they are morally superior and why it matters?


Prof. Zhansheng Chen

Professor of Psychology,
Faculty of Social Sciences,
The University of Hong Kong



The current era is referred to as the “long peace” by some scholars, but conflicts are never far away. Locally and internationally, we have witnessed the rise in violence of various forms, especially those due to differences among domestic groups. Why and how do intergroup differences result in violence and aggression? We proposed that group-based moral superiority, the perception that one’s group is morally superior to the other groups, is an important mechanism for understanding the psychological responses to threat arisen from intergroup differences. In two sets of studies, we examined how intergroup threat may lead to moral superiority as well as the behavioral consequences of feeling morally superior.


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