Predicting Prejudice from Religious Fundamentalism and Right-Wing Authoritarianism: A Multiple-Regression Approach

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Abstract

In a study designed to investigate the respective roles of religious fundamentalism and right-wing authoritarianism as predictors of prejudice against racial minorities and homosexuals, participants (47 males, 91 females) responded to a series of questionnaire measures of these constructs. Data were analyzed using multiple regression. Consistent with previous research, authoritarianism was a significant and strong positive predictor of both forms of prejudice. With authoritarianism statistically controlled, however, fundamentalism emerged as a significant negative predictor of racial prejudice but a positive predictor of homosexual prejudice. In a second study, we conducted parallel multiple regressions using the correlations from two previously published studies. The Study 1 results were replicated exactly, except that fundamentalism was a nonsignificant predictor of homosexual prejudice. We interpret the results as evidence that Christian fundamentalism consists of a second major component other than authoritarianism—related to Christian belief content—that is inversely related to some forms of prejudice (including racial prejudice) but not others (e.g., homosexual prejudice).

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