Politically conservative (versus liberal) individuals generally report more prejudice towards various low-status out-groups. Three studies examined whether prejudice suppression factors-specifically, internal and external motivation to suppress (IMS and EMS, respectively) prejudice-can help explain the relationship between political orientation and prejudice. Study 1 showed that IMS and EMS partially mediated the relationship between political orientation and affective prejudice towards Arabs. Study 2 demonstrated that when justification [right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation] and suppression (IMS and EMS) factors are simultaneously tested as mediators, only RWA partially mediated the relationship between political orientation and prejudice towards deviant (e.g. gay men) out-groups, whereas RWA and IMS fully mediated the relationship between political orientation and prejudice towards derogated out-groups (e.g. Blacks). Intriguingly, IMS rendered social dominance orientation effects non-significant for derogated out-groups. Study 3 showed that anticipating an out-group interaction (with a Black or lesbian confederate) diminished the mediational contribution of IMS in the political orientation-prejudice relationship because of increased IMS among participants; yet the increases in IMS did not completely eliminate differences in prejudice as a function of political orientation. Ultimately, these three studies demonstrate that suppression (in addition to justification) factors do help explain the relationship between political orientation and prejudice.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology