Although plenty of evidence supports the link between intergroup threat and prejudice, few intrapersonal moderators of this association have been investigated. One potentially important moderator is the source of motivation underlying prejudice regulation. In Study 1, we examined whether self-determined prejudice regulation reduces the impact of intergroup threat on various outgroup attitude variables (e.g., modern racism, outgroup affect, etc.). Results suggest that being self-determined in one’s motivation to regulate prejudice buffers the impact of intergroup threat on prejudice, whereas regulating prejudice primarily for non-self-determined reasons serves to exacerbate the threat-prejudice effect. In Study 2, a cross-sectional corroboration of this interaction was obtained using structural equation modeling, revealing that the threat-prejudice link differed significantly across groups of prejudice regulators. The role of self-determination in reducing the harmful effects of intergroup threat is discussed, and implications for prejudice reduction and diversity education are identified.
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Although the RMSEA for the self-determined group appears to be high by some standards, it has been empirically documented that the traditional cutoff criteria for the RMSEA (and its confidence intervals) are overly conservative for small sample sizes (n = 100), nonnormal data, and misspecfied models (Chen et al. 2008; Nevitt and Hancock 2000). As previously noted, data for the group of self-determined prejudice regulators (n = 127) was both kurtotic and skewed due to its low levels of prejudice and discrimination.
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This research was supported by a fellowship awarded to the first author from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
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Legault, L., Green-Demers, I. The protective role of self-determined prejudice regulation in the relationship between intergroup threat and prejudice. Motiv Emot 36, 143–158 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-011-9242-9
- Intergroup threat
- Motivation to control prejudice