I arrived first! Autochthony and national nostalgia as mechanisms of prejudice reduction

Nivalda Novo Reis, Rita Guerra


The present study explored new mechanisms through which the common in-group identity model (Gaertner & Dovidio, 2000) improves intergroup attitudes. Specifically, it explored if common in-group identities (i.e., one group and dual identity) improve intergroup attitudes, by reducing feelings of national nostalgia, autochthony beliefs and, and outgroup negative emotions, toward migrants groups living in Portugal (i.e., africans, brazilians and ukrainians). Participants (305 Portuguese citizens) filled in a questionnaire with all the measures of interest. Results showed, as predicted, that one group representations were associated with more positive intergroup attitudes (i.e., less social distance and increased warmth), by reducing autochthony beliefs and outgroup negative emotions. However, contrary to the hypothesized, common in-group identities were not associated with positive outgroup attitudes, by reducing feelings of national nostalgia. This work showed, for the first time, that inclusive identities are a potential strategy to reduce support for autochthony beliefs, thereby promoting more positive attitudes and a successful integration of immigrants arriving in Europe.


Common in-group identity, National nostalgia, Autochthony, Intergroup relations.


Andrighetto, L., Mari, S., Volpato, C., & Behluli, B. (2012). Reducing competitive victimhood in Kosovo: The role of extended contact and common ingroup identity. Political Psychology, 33, 513-529. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9221.2012.00887.x

Binder, J., Zagefka, H., Brown, R., Funke, F., Kessler, T., Mummendey, A., . . . Leyens, J. P. (2009). Does contact reduce prejudice or does prejudice reduce contact? A longitudinal test of the contact hypothesis among majority and minority groups in three European countries. Journal of Personality and Social Pshychology, 96, 843-856. doi: 10.1037/a0013470

Brown, R., González, R., Zagefka, H., Manzi, J., & Čehajić, S. (2008). Nuestra culpa: Collective guilt and shame as predictors of reparation for historical wrongdoing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 75-90. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.94.1.75

Čehajić, S., Brown, R., & Castano, E. (2008). Forgive and forget? Antecedents and consequences of intergroup forgiveness in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Political Psychology, 29, 351-367. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9221.2008.00634.x

Ceuppens, B., & Geshiere, P. (2005). Autochthony: Local or global? New modes in the struggle over citizenship and belonging in Africa and Europe. Annual Review of Anthropology, 34, 385-407. doi: 10.1146/annurev.anthro.34.081804.120354

Ceuppens, B. (2011). From “the Europe of the regions” to “the European Champion League”: The electoral appeal of populist autochthony discourses in Flanders. Social Anthropology, 19, 159-174. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8676.2011.00146.x

Dovidio, J. F., Gaertner, S. L., & Saguy, T. (2009). Commonality and the complexity of “We”: Social attitudes and social change. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 13, 3-20. doi: 10.1177/1088868308326751

Dovidio, J. F., Gaertner, S. L., Shnabel, N., Saguy, T., & Johnson, J. (2009). Recategorization and pro behavior – Common ingroup identity and dual identity. In S. Stürmer & M. Snyder (Eds.), The psychology of prosocial behavior: Group processes, intergroup relations and helping (pp. 191-207). Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444307948.ch10

Dovidio, J. F., Gaertner, S. L., Ufkes, E. G., Saguy, T., & Pearson, A. R. (2016). Included bit invisible? Subtle bias, common identity, and the darker side of “We”. Social Issues and Policy Review, 10, 6-46. doi: 10.1111/sipr.12017

European Social Survey [ESS]. (2016). Attitudes towards immigration and their antecedents: Topline results from round 7 of the European social survey (Issue 7). https://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/docs/findings/ESS7_toplines_issue_7_immigration.pdf

Figueiredo, A., Oldenhove, G., & Licata, L. (2017). Collective memories of colonialism and acculturation dynamics among Congolese immigrants living in Belgium. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 62, 80-92. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2017.03.004

Gaertner, S. L., & Dovidio, J. F. (2000). Reducing intergroup bias: The common ingroup identity model. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press.

Gaertner, S. L., Dovidio, J. F., Anastasio, P. A., Bachman, B. A., & Rust, M. C. (1993). The common ingroup identity model: Recategorization and reduction of intergroup bias. European Review of Social Psychology, 4, 1-26. doi: 10.1080/14792779343000004

Gaertner, S. L., Mann, J. A., Murrell, A. J., & Dovidio, J. F. (1989). Reducing intergroup bias: The benefits of recategorization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 239-249. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.57.2.239

Gausset, Q., Kenrick, J., & Gibb, R. (2011). Indigeneity and autochthony: A couple of false twins. Social Anthropology, 19, 135-142. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8676.2011.00155.x

Geshiere, P. (2011). Autochthony, citizenship, and exclusion – Paradoxes in the politics of belonging in Africa and Europe. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 18, 321-339. doi: 10.1353/gls.2011.0013

Guerra, R., Gaertner, S. L., António, R., & Deegan, M. (2015). Do we need them? When immigrant communities are perceived as indispensable to national identity or functioning of the host society. European Journal of Social Psychology, 45, 868-879. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2153

Guerra, R., Rebelo, M., Monteiro, M. B., Riek, B. M., Mania, E. W., Gaertner, S. L., & Dovidio, F. (2010). How should intergroup contact be structured to reduce bias among majority and minority group children?. Group Processes & Intergoup Relation, 13, 445-460. doi: 10.1177/1368430209355651

Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis. New York: The Guilford Press.

Hehman, E., Gaertner, S. L., Dovidio, J. F., Mania, E. W., Guerra, R., Wilson, D. C., & Friel, B. M. (2012). Group status drives majority and minority integration preferences. Psychological Science, 23, 46-52. doi: 10.1177/0956797611423547

Mackie, D. M., Devos, T., & Smith, E. R. (2000). Intergroup emotions: Explaining offensive action tendencies in an intergroup context. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 602-616. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.79.4.602

Martinovic, B., & Verkuyten, M. (2013). “We were here first, so we determine the rules of the game”: Autochthony and prejudice towards out-groups. European Journal of Social Psychology, 43, 637-647. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.1980

Milligan, M. J. (2003). Displacement and identity discontinuity: The role of nostalgia in establishing new identity categories. Symbolic Interactionism, 26, 381-403. doi: 10.1525/si.2003.26.3.381

Mols, F., & Jetten, J. (2014). No guts, no glory: How framing the collective past paves the way for anti-immigrant sentiments. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 43, 74-86. doi: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2014.08.014

Pettigrew, T. F., & Tropp, L. R. (2008). How does intergroup contact reduce prejudice? Meta-analytic tests of three mediators. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 922-934. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.504

Ramos, A., Louceiro, A., & Graça, J. (2016). Migrações e refugiados: Atitudes e perceções dos europeus. Lisboa: Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa.

Riek, B. M., Mania, E. W., Gaertner, S. L., McDonald, S. A., & Lamoreaux, M. J. (2010). Does a common ingroup identity reduce intergroup threat?. Group Processes Intergroup Relations, 13, 403-423. doi: 10.1177/1368430209346701

Routledge, C., Wildschut, T., Sedikides, C., & Juhl, J. (2013). Nostalgia as a resource for psychological health and well-being. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 7, 808-818. doi: 10.1111/spc3.12070

Schönbrodt, F. D., & Perugini, M. (2013). At what sample size do correlations stabilize?. Journal of Research in Personality, 47, 609-612. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2013.05.009

Sedikides, C., Wildschut, T., Arndt, J., & Routledge, C. (2008). Nostalgia: Past, present, and future. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17, 304-307. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8721.2008.00595.x

Sedikides, C., Wildschut, T., Routledge, C., & Ardnt, J. (2015). Nostalgia counteracts self-discontinuity and restores self.continuity. European Journal Social Psychology, 45, 52-61. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2073

Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras. (2015). Relatório de imigração, fronteiras e asilo. Lisboa: Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras.

Smeekes, A. (2015). National nostalgia: A group-based emotion that benefits the in-group but hampers intergroup relations. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 49, 54-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2015.07.0010147-1767

Smeekes, A., & Verkuyten, M. (2015). The presence of the past: Identity continuity and group dynamics. European Review of Social Psychology, 26, 162-202. doi: 10.1080/10463283.2015.1112653

Smeekes, A., Verkuyten, M., & Martinovic, B. (2015). Longing for the country’s good old days: National nostalgia, autochthony beliefs, and opposition to muslim expressive rights. British Journal of Social Psychology, 54, 561-580. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12097

Smeekes, A., Verkuyten, M., & Poppe, E. (2011). Mobilizing opposition towards Muslim immigrants: National identification and the representation of national history. British Journal of Social Psychology, 50, 265-280. doi: 10.1348/014466610x516235

Smith, E. R., & Mackie, D. M. (2005). Agression, hatred, and other emotions. In J. F. Dovidio, P. Glick, & L. Rudman (Eds.), On the nature of prejudice: Fifty years after Allport (pp. 361-376). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470773963.ch22

Vala, J., Lopes, D., & Lima, M. (2008). Black immigrants in Portugal: Luso-tropicalism and prejudice. Journal of Social Issues, 64, 287-302. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2008.00562.x

Valentim, J. P., & Heleno, A. M. (2018). Luso-tropicalism as a social representation in Portuguese society: Variations and anchoring. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 62, 34-42. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2017.04.013

Verkuyten, M., Martinovic, B., & Smeekes, A. (2014). The multicultural jigsaw puzzle: Category indispensability and the acceptance of immigrants’ cultural rights. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 1480-1493. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167214549324

Verkuyten, M., Sierksma, J., & Thijs, J. (2015). First arrival and owning the land: How children reason about ownership of territory. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 41, 58-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2014.11.007

Wildschut, T., Bruder, M., Robertson, S., van Tilburg, W. A., & Sedikides, C. (2014). Collective nostalgia: A group level emotion that confers unique benefits on the group. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107, 844-863. doi: 10.1037/a0037760

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14417/ap.1411


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Nº ERC: 107494 | ISSN (in print): 0870-8231 | ISSN (online): 1646-6020 | Copyright © ISPA - CRL, 2012 | Rua Jardim do Tabaco, 34, 1149-041 Lisboa | NIF: 501313672 | O portal e metadados estão licenciados sob a licença Creative Commons CC BY-NC