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Politics and prejudice explored

Date:
August 20, 2012
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
New research from psychological science explores factors operating in political attitudes that could explain why political ideology and prejudice are often linked.

Research has associated political conservatism with prejudice toward various stereotyped groups. But research has also shown that people select and interpret evidence consistent with their own pre-existing attitudes and ideologies. In this article, Chambers and colleagues hypothesized that, contrary to what some research might indicate, prejudice is not restricted to a particular political ideology.

Rather, the conflicting values of liberals and conservatives give rise to different kinds of prejudice, with each group favoring other social groups that share their values. In the first study, three diverse groups of participants rated the ideological position and their overall impression of 34 different target groups.

Participants' impressions fell in line with their ideology. For example, conservatives expressed more prejudice than liberals against groups that were identified as liberal (e.g., African-Americans, homosexuals), but less prejudice against groups identified as conservative (e.g., Christian fundamentalists, business people).

In the second and third studies, participants were presented with 6 divisive political issues and descriptions of racially diverse target persons for each issue. Neither liberals' nor conservatives' impressions of the target persons were affected by the race of the target, but both were strongly influenced by the target's political attitudes.

From these findings the researchers conclude that prejudices commonly linked with ideology are most likely derived from perceived ideological differences and not from other characteristics like racial tolerance or intolerance.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. J. B. Luguri, J. L. Napier, J. F. Dovidio. Reconstruing Intolerance: Abstract Thinking Reduces Conservatives' Prejudice Against Nonnormative Groups. Psychological Science, 2012; 23 (7): 756 DOI: 10.1177/0956797611433877
  2. J. B. Luguri, J. L. Napier, J. F. Dovidio. Reconstruing Intolerance: Abstract Thinking Reduces Conservatives' Prejudice Against Nonnormative Groups. Psychological Science, 2012; 23 (7): 756 DOI: 10.1177/0956797611433877

Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Politics and prejudice explored." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120820152208.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2012, August 20). Politics and prejudice explored. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120820152208.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Politics and prejudice explored." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120820152208.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

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