Why do I hate thee? Conflict misperceptions and intergroup mistrust

Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2006 Oct;32(10):1295-311. doi: 10.1177/0146167206289979.


Members of partisan social groups often exaggerate how much their own opinions differ from those of their rivals. In the present two studies, partisans estimated their own and their rivals' attitudes toward different issues related to the social conflict and also made a variety of evaluative judgments about their own and the rival group. The authors found that (a) partisans perceive more disagreement with their rivals about values that are central to their own sides' ideological position than those that are central to their rivals' position and (b) perceptions of disagreement about the partisans' own central values are what predicts partisans' global evaluations of members of the outgroup (e.g., disliking, trait stereotypes, perceived similarity). Furthermore, partisans believed their adversaries were motivated by an opposition to the partisans' own core values rather than by promotion of the adversaries' core values. Discussion concentrates on the theoretical and applied implications of these findings.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Hate*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Minority Groups
  • Negotiating
  • Politics
  • Prejudice
  • Self Concept
  • Social Perception*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Trust*