The Psychology of Prejudice

By Mark P. Zanna; James M. Olson | Go to book overview

TABLE 7.5
Association Between Dimensions of Personal Religion and Overt Versus Covert Measures of Racial Prejudice
Measure of Racial Prejudice
Dimension ofOvertCovert
Personal Religion(Same Movie)(Different Movie)
Extrinsic, means -.21 -.01
Intrinsic, end -.52* -.08
Quest -.10 -.45*
From Batson, Flink, Schoenrade, Fultz, and Pych ( 1986).
Note. *p < .05, two-tailed.

condition (r = -.52; p < .05) but near zero in the covert condition (r = -.08). For the quest dimension, the correlation is near zero in the overt condition (r = -.10) but significantly negative in the covert condition (r = -.45; p < .05).3

As in the Batson et al. ( 1978) study, then, the intrinsic, end dimension correlates negatively with an overt measure of racial prejudice. But this significant negative correlation disappears when choosing to sit with the White person could masquerade as a movie preference. The pattern of behavior associated with devout, intrinsic religion in these two studies is strikingly reminiscent of what Gaertner and Dovidio ( 1986) called aversive racism. The pattern suggests a concern on the part of the intrinsically religious not to be seen by others, or by themselves, as prejudiced; still, "the underlying negative portions of their attitudes are expressed, but in subtle, rationalizable ways" ( Gaertner & Dovidio, 1986, p. 62). Only the quest dimension has a significant negative correlation with the covert measure of prejudice.


SUMMARY AND SOME IMPLICATIONS

We have traveled a long and winding path in this review of the religion-prejudice relationship, but we believe that we have gotten somewhere. First, we found much research suggesting a positive correlation between being religious and being prejudiced. Then we found much research suggesting that this was only

____________________
3
To check the pattern of choices underlying the negative correlation for the quest dimension, we performed median splits on the (Quest) Interactional scale in each attributional-ambiguity condition. Among subjects scoring above the median, the proportions of subjects choosing to sit with the White person were .44 and .46 in the overt and covert prejudice conditions, respectively; among subjects scoring below the median, the proportions were .75 and .71. Thus, high scorers on the quest dimension showed no preference for Black or White persons in either condition, whereas low scorers showed a preference for sitting with the White person (z = 2.13; p < .04; observed proportions tested for difference from .50 across experimental conditions).

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