Self-reported discrimination and discriminatory behaviour: The role of attachment security


Elle M. Boag, School of Psychology, Highfield Campus, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK (e-mail:


Past research shows that attachment security is linked to low prejudice (Hofstra, Van Oudenhoven & Bunnk, 2005; Mikulincer & Shaver, 2001). We extend this research by examining the role of attachment security in discriminatory choices and discriminatory behaviour. The current study examines the influence of primed attachment security (vs. neutral prime) on self-reported discrimination and actual discriminatory behaviour towards Muslims. Results illustrate that primed attachment security (vs. a neutral prime) significantly predicts both the choice to discriminate against Muslims and subsequent behavioural discrimination towards a Muslim. Implications for increasing attachment security as a means of reducing prejudice and discrimination are discussed.