ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (2): 253-261.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00253

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The influence of self-categorization on perceived ethnic socialization in a simulated conflict context with two-way Bias: Evidence from Jingpo, Dai, and Han junior students

YIN Keli1; YANG Yuxue1,3; ZHANG Jijia2; TIAN Jiangyao1   

  1. (1 School of Education & Management, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China) (2 Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China; Key Research Center for Nationality, Language, Culture and Psychology, the State Affairs Commission; Key Research Center for National Psychology and Education, the National Education Development Center of the Ministry of Education, Beijing 100872, China) (3 Department of Ideological and Political Education, Dehong Vocational College, Mangshi 678400, Yunnan, China)
  • Received:2016-05-03 Published:2017-02-25 Online:2017-02-25
  • Contact: YIN Keli, E-mail:; ZHANG Jijia, E-mail:


In a modern multi-ethnic country, people from different ethnic groups living in the same community is a common phenomenon. To promote positive inter-relationships and social harmony among ethnic groups, we must pay attention to the process of ethnic socialization. Perceived ethnic socialization refers to minority children’s understanding of their parents’ messages regarding ethnicity. Previous studies have focused on the effects of unilateral discrimination or prejudice on ethnic socialization. Few researchers have examined the effects of self-categorization on perceived ethnic socialization in a conflict context with two-way bias. Study 1 was a situational experiment designed to simulate a conflict context with two-way bias between Jingpo and Dai students; 251 Jingpo and 297 Dai junior students participated in an exploration of the effect of in-group categorization on perceived ethnic-socialization messages. Study 2 examined the effects of three kinds of self-categorization (in-group, out-group, and intergroup categorization) on perceived ethnic-socialization messages; story-completion tasks were completed by 110 Jingpo, 61 Dai, and 332 Han junior high school students. The results showed that three types of ethnic-socialization messages, including “promotion of harmony,” “cultural socialization,” and “promotion of mistrust,” were reported significantly more often by Dai students than by Jingpo students. There were differences in self-categorization among Dai, Jingpo, and Han students. The frequency of self-categorization types indicated in each ethnic group, ordered from high to low, was as follows: Jingpo: in-group, intergroup, out-group; Dai: intergroup, in-group, out-group; and Han: out-group, intergroup, in-group. There were significant differences between the three ethnic groups in the effects of self-categorization on perceptions of ethnic-socialization messages about “promotion of harmony,” “cultural socialization,” and “reporting conflict to the authorities.” In the context of two-way bias conflict, there was a clear relationship between self-classification and perceived ethnic socialization in Jingpo, Dai, and Han junior high school students: no matter how the students classified themselves—participant (in-group), bystander (out-group), or mediator (intergroup)—the most-frequently reported socialization message was “promotion of harmony.” On the other hand, “preparation for bias” mainly depended on the classification of participants and did not have a close relationship with other types of categorization. Finally, students who categorized themselves as mediators readily perceived the message about “reporting conflict to the authorities.”

Key words: perceived ethnic socialization, bias, self-categorization, promotion of harmony, preparation for bias