Ideology and Prejudice: The Role of Value Conflicts
30 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2012
Date Written: February 15, 2012
In three studies, we tested whether prejudice derives from perceived similarities and dissimilarities in political ideologies. Across three diverse samples in Study 1, 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). Studies 2 and 3 independently manipulated a target’s race (European-American or African-American) and political attitudes (liberal or conservative). Both studies found symmetrical preferences, with liberals and conservatives each liking attitudinally similar targets and disliking dissimilar targets. The amount of prejudice was comparable for liberals and conservatives, and race of the target had no effect. In all three studies, the patterns were obtained even after controlling for individual differences on prejudice-related dimensions (e.g., system justification, social dominance orientation, modern racism). The patterns strongly support the ideological similarity-dissimilarity hypothesis and indicate that prejudice exists on both sides of the political spectrum.
Keywords: Ideology, Prejudice, Values, Politics, System Justification, Social Dominance Orientation
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