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Description: The seminal minimal group experiment has shown that discrimination can follow from intergroup relations and social identity. A large body of research evidenced that people discriminate against members of their out versus ingroup, even if groups and identities were assigned on the basis of one’s dot guessing style, aesthetic judgement or a chance outcome. But is group and social identity assignment required for unequal resource division to arise here? We show via Bayesian models in 6 pre-registered experiments (>900 subjects) that unequal resource division strategies persist against a single person that demonstrates a different versus the same quantity estimate, painting preference, or even coin flip (Experiments 1-3), with 43.1% more money awarded for sameness relative to difference conditions (Experiments 4-6). These findings open up the possibility that one key driver of discrimination may exist in a neural mechanism of interindividual comparison that treats ad hoc difference more negatively than ad hoc sameness. Theoretical implications for understanding cognitive and brain systems of discrimination are discussed.


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