Low status groups show in-group favoritism to compensate for their low status and to compete for higher status.

<p>The present research investigated the intergroup allocation behavior of members of low-status groups. In two studies where status relations were either relatively illegitimate (Study 1, <em>N</em> = 139) or legitimate (Study 2, <em>N</em> = 114), undergraduate students completed a minimal group resource allocation task that took into account the intergroup status hierarchy. In both studies, members of low-status groups showed two forms of in-group favoritism. They selected resource allocation choices that (a) compensated for their low status and led to intergroup fairness (<em>compensatory favoritism</em>) and (b) competed with the out-group for status and led to positive distinctiveness for the in-group (<em>competitive favoritism</em>). These results suggest that members of low-status groups use in-group favoritism to make their group (a) <em>as good as</em> the high-status out-group and (b) <em>better than</em> the high-status out-group. The findings support the idea that in-group favoritism can serve different functions.</p>