Subjective similarity and positive intergroup behaviour

In this paper, we examine the association between subjective similarity between populations from different German federal states and positive intergroup behaviour. In our project Subjektive Bewertung kultureller Unterschiede in Deutschland (Subjective Evaluation of Cultural Differences in Germany) we explored subjectively perceived differences between four German federal states (Bavaria, North Rhein -Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Saxony). In order to do so, we conducted a survey (N=904) in which individuals from these German states were asked about (a) the extent of perceived similarity between the own group and the other regionally defined groups and (b) their behavioural tendencies towards these other groups, namely solidarity behaviour, cooperation behaviour and relocation behaviour. By conducting fixed effects regression models, we examined whether subjective similarity between groups leads to positive behavioral intentions between these groups. Our empirical results show that perceived similarity between the population of one’s own region and the one of another region is positively associated with the all three dimensions of intergroup behaviour, and its significance increases with the personal costs associated with the behaviour in question.



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