Examining dispositional and situational effects on outgroup attitudes

Joke Meeus, Bart Duriez, Peter Kuppens, Norbert Vanbeselaere & Karen Phalet

Two research lines have dominated the quest for the antecedents of outgroup attitudes. Whereas the first has viewed outgroup attitudes as a result of individual differences, the second has stressed the importance of the intergroup situation. In order to investigate the interplay of individual differences and characteristics of the intergroup situation, key predictors of the individual differences perspective (i.e., Right-Wing Authoritarianism or RWA, and Social Dominance Orientation or SDO) and the intergroup relations perspective (i.e., ingroup identification and ingroup threat) were simultaneously tested. Two studies revealed additive effects of RWA and SDO, ingroup identification, and threat, but failed to find significant interaction effects. In addition, Study 1 showed that the effects of threat remain limited to the outgroup that is portrayed as threatening and do not generalize to other outgroups.

Meeus, J., Duriez, B., Kuppens, P., Vanbeselaere, N., & Phalet, K. (2009). Examining dispositional and situational effects on outgroup attitudes. European Journal of Personality, 23, 307-328.