When Ingroups Aren’t 'In': Perceived Political Belief Similarity Moderates Religious Ingroup Favoritism

39 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2012 Last revised: 11 Sep 2012

Date Written: June 11, 2012

Abstract

Motivated thinking leads people to perceive similarity between the self and ingroups, but under some conditions, people may recognize that personal beliefs are misaligned with the beliefs of ingroups. In two focal experiments and two replications, we find evidence that perceived belief similarity moderates ingroup favoritism. As part of a charity donation task, participants donated money to a community charity or a religious charity. Compared to non-religious people, Christians favored religious charities, but within Christians, conservative Christians favored religious charities more than liberal Christians did. Experiment 2 demonstrated that the perceived political beliefs of the charity accounted for the differences in ingroup favoritism between liberal and conservative Christians. While reporting little awareness of the influence of ideology, Christian conservatives favored religious charities because they perceived them as conservative and liberal Christian favored the community charity because they perceived it as liberal.

Keywords: ingroup favoritism, political ideology, religion, social identity

Suggested Citation

Hawkins, Carlee Beth and Nosek, Brian A., When Ingroups Aren’t 'In': Perceived Political Belief Similarity Moderates Religious Ingroup Favoritism (June 11, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2081337 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2081337

Carlee Beth Hawkins (Contact Author)

University of Virginia ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Brian A. Nosek

University of Virginia ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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