Examining Perceived In-Group Similarity And Out-Group Dissimilarity As Predictors Of Religious Intergroup Bias
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Heather K. Terrell
People tend to feel more favorably toward others who share their beliefs and values. Religion can provide a quick estimate of ideological similarity. The religious values conflict model (Brandt & Van Tongeren, 2017) proposes that people high and low in religiosity are both prejudiced toward groups with dissimilar values. However, the role of dissimilarity in predicting religious intergroup bias has not been directly tested. A pilot study (N = 326) tested whether Christians and nonreligious people would demonstrate the patterns of intergroup bias predicted by the religious values conflict model. Additionally, the respective roles of perceived in-group and out-group dissimilarity in predicting religious intergroup bias were examined. Results showed that Christians and nonreligious people did demonstrate the patterns predicted by the religious values conflict model. Further examination showed that greater in-group similarity, not greater dissimilarity of the out-group, was the best predictor of attitudes toward the out-group. The main study (N = 519) replicated these findings and also used structural equation modeling to demonstrate that participants’ perceived similarity to Christians mediated the relationship between religiosity and prejudice toward atheists, while participants’ perceived similarity to atheists mediated the relationship between religiosity and prejudice toward Christians. The findings provide a more nuanced picture of the role of in-group similarity and out-group dissimilarity in explaining intergroup bias between Christians and nonreligious people.
Grove, Richard Clark, "Examining Perceived In-Group Similarity And Out-Group Dissimilarity As Predictors Of Religious Intergroup Bias" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 3098.