Cognitive Ability and Prejudice

Jarret Crawford and I recently had our paper “Answering Unresolved Questions about the Relationship between Cognitive Ability and Prejudice” accepted at Social Psychological and Personality Science. [Preprint & SOM]

AbstractPrevious research finds that lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice (Onraet et al., 2015). We test two unresolved questions about this association using a heterogeneous set of target groups and data from a representative sample of the United States (N=5914). First, we test “who are the targets of prejudice?” We replicate prior negative associations between cognitive ability and prejudice for groups who are perceived as liberal, unconventional, and having lower levels of choice over group membership. We find the opposite (i.e. positive associations), however, for groups perceived as conservative, conventional, and having higher levels of choice over group membership. Second, we test “who shows intergroup bias?” and find that people with both relatively higher and lower levels of cognitive ability show approximately equal levels of intergroup bias, but towards different sets of groups.

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Belief Systems and Stereotype Content

A recent paper by Koch et al was recently published in JPSP. I think it has some nice implications for some of my work.

Belief systems are concerned with hierarchy and traditions, yet the dimensions of social cognition suggest people are primarily concerned about warmth and competence. A new paper resolves this puzzle with a data-drive approach identifying agency/status and conservative-progressive beliefs as primary dimensions of social cognition and warmth/communion as an emergent third.

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Religious Fundamentalism and Value Conflict

Daryl van Tongeren and I recently published a paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. In this paper we find that people who are both high and low in religious fundamentalism are both prejudiced toward groups with dissimilar values. Our abstract…

Abstract: Research linking religion to prejudice suggests that highly religious individuals, and religious fundamentalists specifically, may be especially susceptible to expressing prejudice toward dissimilar others, whereas people who are less religious and fundamentalist do not show the same effect. The selective prejudice hypothesis predicts that this pattern of results occurs because the cognitive and motivational styles or particular values associated with fundamentalism exacerbate prejudice. In three studies, using four data sets (N = 5806), we test this selective prejudice hypothesis against the religious values conflict hypothesis, which predicts that both people with high and low levels of fundamentalism will be prejudiced toward those with dissimilar beliefs to protect the validity and vitality of people’s belief systems. Consistent with the religious values conflict hypothesis, we found that people both high and low in fundamentalism were prejudice toward dissimilar others (Study 1) and these differences were primarily due to differences in the content of religious belief rather than the style of belief (Study 2). In Study 3, we expanded these findings to additional measures of prejudice, found that multiple measures of threat were potential mediators, and explored the possibility of an integrative perspective. In total, these results suggest that people with both relatively high and low levels of fundamentalism are susceptible to prejudice and in some cases the size of this religious intergroup bias may be higher among people with high levels of fundamentalism. Continue reading “Religious Fundamentalism and Value Conflict”

Shifting Demographics and Ideological Prejudice

NPR published an article about the changing vote patterns for Asian Americans. In short, since the 80’s and early 90’s Asian Americans have been voting more and more in a Democratic direction. In 1992 about 55% of Asian Americans voted for the Republican candidate and in 2012 only about 26% voted for the Republican candidate.

In this post, I look at how this trend might be related to some of my own research. Continue reading “Shifting Demographics and Ideological Prejudice”

A blog post on Bounded Openness

Recently I was fortunate to publish a paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology with a bunch of co-authors (click on their names below!) on the association between openness to experience and intolerance. In this post, I’ll describe the study, why we think it’s interesting, and how it connects to some other work I’ve been doing. First things first: citation, abstract, and link to PDF. Continue reading “A blog post on Bounded Openness”