Examining dispositional and situational effects on outgroup attitudes


  • The contribution of the second and last author was supported by the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO).


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 stressed the importance of the intergroup situation. In order to investigate the interplay of individual differences and situational characteristics, 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 but no interaction effects of RWA and SDO, ingroup identification and threat. Additionally, Study 1 showed that threat effects remain limited to the outgroup that is portrayed as threatening and do not generalize to other outgroups. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.