Recent studies have identified that explicit prejudice is related to support for conservative politicians and opposition for liberal politicians, regardless of the politicians’ demographic background. However, several questions about this line of research remain unclear. First, prior theories are still unclear on why this association exists. Second, prior studies primarily focus on these associations in explicit attitudinal domains, so it remains unclear how prejudice relates to evaluation of politicians in the implicit domain. This dissertation describes two experiments that address these two key research questions. To identify the first question about “why,” two alternative (but not competing) hypotheses were tested: the inequality hypothesis and the status quo hypothesis. To investigate attitudes in multiple attitude domains, the studies use implicit as well as explicit measures of prejudice and evaluation of politicians. The results reveal a great deal of support for the inequality hypothesis and some support for the status quo hypothesis. The associations primarily occur on the explicit domain of attitudes, but the associations in the implicit domain (of racial and gender attitudes and evaluation of politicians) are less robust. The current studies also confirm past findings that politicians’ demographic backgrounds do not moderate the effect of explicit prejudice, and additionally, generalize this conclusion to the domain of implicit prejudice. Together, these findings clarify the political consequences of racism and sexism and further our understanding of the psychological function of prejudice.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2021. Major: Psychology. Advisors: Eugene Borgida, Christopher Federico. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 63 pages.
Implicit and Explicit Prejudice Are Related to Explicit Support for Politicians Who Are Conservative, but Not White or Male, Mostly Because They Promote Inequality.
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