It is common to observe an asymmetry in judgments of intragroup variability. Sometimes outgroups are perceived more homogeneous than ingroups, while the opposite is true in other social contexts. Few models which explain these asymmetries are described. Among these models, a distinction is made between cognitive and motivational approaches. Two components of variability follow from these approaches. Variability is both a size and a value judgment. The necessity to integrate both approaches is stressed in taking account different levels of analysis (Doise, 1982).
KEYWORDS: intragroup variability; social identity theory; cognitive approach; motivational approach; levels of analysis.