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Religious Fundamentalism as a Predictor of Prejudice: A Two-Component Model

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The present study aims to determine whether the empirical relationship between religious fundamentalism and prejudice can be accounted for in terms of the mutually opposing effects of Christian orthodoxy and right-wing authoritarianism using multiple regression. Three separate samples (total n = 320) completed measures of religious fundamentalism, right-wing authoritarianism, Christian orthodoxy, ethnic prejudice, and homosexual prejudice. Consistent with previous research, fundamentalism (1) was essentially unrelated to ethnic prejudice when considered alone; (2) was positively related to ethnic prejudice when orthodoxy was statistically controlled; and (3) was negatively related to ethnic prejudice when authoritarianism was statistically controlled. Finally, when both authoritarianism and orthodoxy were controlled simultaneously, fundamentalism was again unrelated to prejudice, whereas orthodoxy was negatively related and authoritarianism positively related. In contrast, fundamentalism was a significant positive predictor of prejudice against gays and lesbians irrespective of whether authoritarianism and/or orthodoxy were statistically controlled.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, University of New Hampshire 2: Department of Psychology, Indiana University Southeast 3: ndiana University Purdue University Indianapolis 4: Department of Psychology, College of William & Mary

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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