Eric Luis Uhlmann
Professor of Organisational Behaviour
The present investigation modeled the emergence and persistence of intergroup bias and discrimination in artificial societies.Initial unfair prejudices held by members of a dominant group elicit confirmatory behavior (diminished cooperation) from members of a subordinate group via a self-fulfilling prophecy. Further, when individual learning is tempered by conformity to peers, inaccurate beliefs about the stigmatized subordinate group persist long-term.Even completely replacing dominant group members with enlightened individuals through generational change is inadequate to break the cycle of intergroup distrust and non-collaboration. The longer the enlightenment of a society is delayed, the more intergroup trust is irretrievably lost.