Social Sciences (Dec 2020)

Relation between College Students’ Conservatism and Negative Stereotypes about Social Groups

  • Sylvia Beyer

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 224
p. 224


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This study examined the interrelations among political attitudes and negative stereotypes in U.S. undergraduates. Participants answered questions measuring conservatism, social dominance orientation, Global Belief in a Just World, and religiosity. This research employed two measures of stereotypes: modern sexism and feelings about 15 social groups. It was hypothesized that conservatives would show more evidence of negative stereotypes than liberals would. The study revealed that indeed conservatives show stronger evidence of negative stereotypes, but that liberals also harbor some biases. Importantly, the social groups against whom conservatives and liberals are stereotyped differed greatly. Conservatives showed considerably more negative stereotypes against racial and religious minorities, and particularly against those who do not identify with the cis-gender, heterosexual norm. Thus, the targets of conservatives’ stereotypes were groups that have traditionally been subject to discrimination. Liberals held stronger stereotypes against groups that are more politically powerful, such as Caucasians and Christians.