Have you heard of in-groups? An in-group is a group of people who identify with each other based on factors including gender, race, religion, or nationality/geography.
In-group bias has an evolutionary basis: Humans evolved to be more empathetic toward in-group members, making it an unconscious bias. In-group favoritism does not necessarily imply negative behavior toward out-group members. It may manifest as disproportionate kindness and generosity to in-group members, causing out-group members to experience the negative effects of that preference.
In the workplace, in-group bias can affect hiring, award nomination, committee membership, and peer review processes, among others. Being aware of in-groups allows you to make thoughtful, conscious decisions to overcome automatic, potentially unfair decisions and/or actions.
To learn more:
- Media article: “Us” and “Them”: The Nature of Intergroup Bias
- Peer-reviewed article: Identity and In-group/Out-group Differentiation in Work and Giving Behaviors
- Book: Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People