What is scapegoating?

Scapegoating is the tendency to blame an outgroup or a social group we don’t identify with for the problems of our ingroup or the group we feel we belong to.

This phenomenon is more likely to appear when a group is faced with prolonged negative experiences or is blocked from attaining a goal.

For example, in the wake of a political assassination, members of an ethnic minority might be targeted if the perpetrator belonged to this outgroup. In other words, scapegoating is a manifestation of outgroup bias (the tendency to dislike outgroups).