British Journal of Social Psychology
School of Arts and Humanities
We examined whether zero‐sum thinking explains White Australian‐born people's majority‐culture perceptions of discrimination towards their ingroup and an outgroup (immigrants), and the relationships among perceived discrimination and support for multiculturalism and immigration. Two correlational cross‐sectional studies were conducted among self‐identified White Australians (Study 1, N = 517), and White Americans (Study 2, N = 273), as well as an experiment among White Australians (Study 3, N = 121) in which we manipulated discrimination towards immigrants over time. Our findings did not support a zero‐sum account but revealed that perceptions of group discrimination were positively correlated: a case of ‘they're discriminated against, but so are we’ rather than ‘if they gain, we lose’. Moreover, concerns about future discrimination of the ingroup were most predictive of opposition to multicultural policy and immigration. We argue our findings are more consistent with a competitive victimhood account of intergroup relations than a zero‐sum thinking account.
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