Open Access

Why do outsiders commend us? Reactions to group-based praise concerning morality or competence


In intergroup contexts, praise is important to encourage the members of a group to keep the desired behaviors and seems to be generally well-accepted. However, there is some evidence that, under specific conditions, recipients are more suspicious of praise delivered from outgroup rather than ingroup members. The current study (N = 126, university students) examined how people responded to ingroup and outgroup praise that concerned different dimensions (morality vs. competence). Although morality is considered the most important dimension in group evaluation, recipients of morality praise judged it as less pleasant and less sincere and attributed less benevolent motives to the speaker when the speaker was an outgroup (vs. ingroup) member. These findings contribute to the knowledge on responses to group-directed praise, suggesting that outgroup representatives should be careful about the dimension of praise if they wish the praise to be accepted.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Social Sciences, Psychology, Applied Psychology