Deutsch: Eigengruppe / Español: Grupo interno / Português: Grupo interno / Français: Groupe d'appartenance / Italian: Gruppo interno

In-group in the psychology context refers to a social group to which a person psychologically identifies as being a member. This group is often characterized by a sense of solidarity, common identity, and mutual support among its members.


In psychology, the term in-group describes any social group that an individual identifies with strongly. This identification is based on perceived commonalities such as interests, beliefs, values, or other characteristics. The in-group often provides a sense of belonging and identity to its members, and this psychological bond can influence attitudes and behaviors toward both in-group members and those outside the group, known as out-groups.

The concept of in-groups is crucial in understanding social dynamics and behaviors. It plays a significant role in social identity theory, which posits that a person’s self-concept is partially derived from their membership in social groups. This group membership influences how individuals perceive themselves and others, often leading to favoritism toward in-group members and discrimination against out-group members.

Historically, the study of in-groups has provided insight into various social phenomena, including prejudice, discrimination, and group cohesion. Understanding in-group dynamics is essential for addressing issues related to social justice, intergroup conflict, and community building.

Special Considerations

One important aspect of in-groups is the concept of in-group bias, where individuals show preferential treatment to members of their own group over those of out-groups. This bias can manifest in various ways, from positive assumptions about in-group members' intentions to unequal resource distribution.

Application Areas

  1. Social Psychology: Examining how in-group identification affects attitudes, behaviors, and intergroup relations.
  2. Organizational Behavior: Understanding how in-group dynamics influence workplace cohesion and productivity.
  3. Educational Settings: Analyzing how in-group affiliations among students impact learning and social interactions.
  4. Political Science: Studying how political affiliations and party memberships function as in-groups.
  5. Cultural Studies: Exploring how cultural and ethnic in-groups shape identity and social cohesion.

Well-Known Examples

  1. Sports Teams: Fans of a particular sports team often form an in-group with a strong sense of loyalty and shared identity.
  2. Professional Groups: Members of the same profession or industry often form in-groups, fostering networking and support.
  3. Ethnic and Cultural Groups: Shared cultural or ethnic backgrounds can create strong in-group bonds, influencing social behaviors and attitudes.
  4. Religious Communities: Individuals who share the same religious beliefs and practices form in-groups that provide social support and a sense of belonging.

Symptoms, Therapy, and Healing

Common Symptoms

In-group bias can lead to:

  • Prejudice and discrimination against out-group members.
  • Groupthink, where the desire for group harmony leads to poor decision-making.
  • Social exclusion of those not considered part of the in-group.

Treatment Options

Addressing in-group bias and its effects may involve:

  • Education and Awareness: Promoting understanding and appreciation of diversity to reduce biases.
  • Intergroup Contact: Encouraging positive interactions between in-group and out-group members to foster mutual respect.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Helping individuals recognize and change biased thinking patterns.

Healing Process

The healing process includes ongoing efforts to build inclusive communities, foster open-mindedness, and promote equality. This may involve institutional changes, community programs, and individual interventions aimed at reducing in-group bias and its negative impacts.

Examples of Sentences

  1. Members of the club developed a strong sense of in-group loyalty, often organizing exclusive events.
  2. In-group favoritism can lead to unfair treatment of outsiders, perpetuating social divides.
  3. The study examined how in-group dynamics influenced voting behaviors during the election.

Similar Terms

  • Social Identity: The part of an individual's self-concept derived from their group memberships.
  • Group Cohesion: The bond that holds a group together, often enhanced by in-group identification.
  • Collective Identity: The shared sense of belonging to a group, contributing to in-group solidarity.

Articles with 'In-group' in the title

  • Common in-group identity model: Common in-group identity model refers to an analysis of recategorization processes and conflict, developed by Samuel Gaertner, John Dovidio, and their colleagues


In-group in psychology refers to a social group with which an individual identifies and feels a sense of belonging. This concept is essential in understanding social dynamics, influencing behaviors and attitudes toward both in-group and out-group members. While in-group identification can foster solidarity, it can also lead to biases and discrimination, highlighting the need for awareness and interventions to promote inclusivity.