Not Every Flock has its black sheep: the role of Entitativity and Identification on deviants’ derogation

Marika Rullo, Stefano Livi


Previous research has suggested that the black sheep effect (BSE), i.e., harsher ingroup than outgroup deviants’ derogation, mainly occurs in members highly identified with groups or belonging to highly entitative groups. Two studies considered the conjoined effect of identification and entitativity on BSE. In particular, in Study 1 we consider the mediating role of identification on entitativity- BSE relationship and in Study 2 we focused on the importance of the group for the self-esteem as mediator of such relationship. Results showed that the BSE emerges strongly in high entitative groups because in such groups there is a stronger attachment to the groups both in terms of social identification (Study 1) and of importance of such identity for self-esteem (Study 2). We discussed our findings in the light of the Subjective Group Dynamics model and provide suggestions for future studies.


black sheep effect; social identity; entitativity; intergroup bias; deviance

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