You just don’t get us! Positive, but non-verifying, evaluations foster prejudice and discrimination.

Researchers have assumed that self-enhancement strivings motivate compensatory prejudice against minorities. We ask if self-verification strivings might explain compensatory prejudice more parsimoniously. Three studies tested whether receiving overly positive evaluations from outgroup members (immigrants) amplifies prejudice and discrimination against them. In Experiment 1 participants who received excessively positive evaluations from immigrants expressed less liking for them and donated less to them than those who received negative verifying feedback. Experiment 2 replicated these findings only when participants had sufficient time to reflect on the feedback. Experiment 3 indicated that diminished perceptions of being understood mediated the impact of overly positive evaluations on prejudicial reactions. These results suggest that self-verification theory offers a more parsimonious account of compensatory prejudice than self-enhancement theory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)