Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

British Journal of Social Psychology




School of Arts and Humanities




This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:

Leviston, Z., Dandy, J., & Jetten, J. (2020). ‘They're discriminated against, but so are we’: White Australian‐born perceptions of ingroup and immigrant discrimination over time are not zero sum. British Journal of Social Psychology, 60(1) 146 - 170, which has been published in final form at

This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.


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.