I won't listen if I think we're losing our way: how right-wing authoritarianism affects the response to different anti-prejudice messages

Ayoub Bouguettaya (Lead / Corresponding author), Matteo Vergani, Chloe Sainsbury, Ana-Maria Bliuc

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Abstract

Prejudice reduction messages have been shown to be effective through changing norms. Previous research suggests that Right Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) moderates the reaction to these messages, but it is unclear whether individuals high in RWA are more or less sensitive to prejudice-reduction campaigns. This research used the social identity approach to investigate the role of RWA in moderating the reactions to messages that look to reduce support for prejudicial policies and associated prejudice against an ethnoreligious group (Muslims). Americans (N = 388) were presented with statements on a real, proposed ban on Muslim immigration into the US from an in-group member (i.e., an American freight worker who disapproves of the Muslim ban), outgroup member (an Iraqi refugee who is in favour if the Muslim ban), or both, or control message. Those high in RWA showed consistently high levels of prejudice against Muslims in all conditions, but those low in RWA showed lower prejudice when presented with the anti-prejudice message from an in-group member (compared to control). This suggests that anti-prejudice messages primarily affect those with low RWA, clarifying that RWA likely leads to resistance to anti-prejudice messages regardless of the source. Future research aiming to reduce prejudice should examine how messages can be tailored to reduce prejudice in those with high RWA.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0280557
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2023

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