Social and Economic Ideologies Differentially Predict Prejudice across the Political Spectrum, but Social Issues Are Most Divisive

Crawford, J. T., Brandt, M. J., Inbar, Y., Chambers, J. R., & Motyl, M. (2017). Social and economic ideologies differentially predict prejudice across the political spectrum, but social issues are most divisive. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112, 383-412.

89 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2017

See all articles by Jarret Crawford

Jarret Crawford

The College of New Jersey

Mark Brandt

Tilburg University

Yoel Inbar

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

John R. Chambers

St. Louis University

Matt Motyl

University of Illinois at Chicago; University of Illinois at Chicago

Date Written: March 21, 2017

Abstract

Liberals and conservatives both express prejudice toward ideologically dissimilar others (Brandt et al., 2014). Previous work on ideological prejudice did not take advantage of evidence showing that ideology is multi-dimensional, with social and economic ideologies representing related but separable belief systems. In five studies (total N = 4912), we test three competing hypotheses of a multi-dimensional account of ideological prejudice. The dimension-specific symmetry hypothesis predicts that social and economic ideologies differentially predict prejudice against targets who are perceived to vary on the social and economic political dimensions, respectively. The social primacy hypothesis predicts that such ideological worldview conflict is experienced more strongly along the social than economic dimension. The social-specific asymmetry hypothesis predicts that social conservatives will be more prejudiced than social liberals, with no specific hypotheses for the economic dimension. Using multiple target groups, multiple prejudice measures (e.g., global evaluations, behavior), and multiple social and economic ideology measures (self-placement, issue positions), we found relatively consistent support for the dimension-specific symmetry and social primacy hypotheses, and no support for the social-specific asymmetry hypothesis. These results suggest that worldview conflict and negative intergroup attitudes and behaviors are dimension-specific, but that the social dimension appears to inspire more political conflict than the economic dimension.

Keywords: prejudice, political psychology, social psychology, ideology, culture war

Suggested Citation

Crawford, Jarret and Brandt, Mark and Inbar, Yoel and Chambers, John R. and Motyl, Matt, Social and Economic Ideologies Differentially Predict Prejudice across the Political Spectrum, but Social Issues Are Most Divisive (March 21, 2017). Crawford, J. T., Brandt, M. J., Inbar, Y., Chambers, J. R., & Motyl, M. (2017). Social and economic ideologies differentially predict prejudice across the political spectrum, but social issues are most divisive. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112, 383-412.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2938877

Jarret Crawford (Contact Author)

The College of New Jersey ( email )

P.O. Box 7718
Ewing, NJ 08628-0718
United States

Mark Brandt

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC 5000 LE
Netherlands

Yoel Inbar

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

John R. Chambers

St. Louis University ( email )

3511 LaClede Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63103
United States

Matt Motyl

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

1007 W. Harrison St. (m/c 285)
Psychology Department
Chicago, IL 60607
United States

HOME PAGE: http://motyl.people.uic.edu

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

1102 Behavioral Science Building (BSB)
Chicago, IL 60607-7137
United States

HOME PAGE: http://motyl.people.uic.edu

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