Discrimination across the ideological divide: The role of value violations and abstract values in discrimination by liberals and conservatives

G.A. Wetherell, M.J. Brandt, C. Reyna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Despite ample research linking conservatism to discrimination and liberalism to tolerance, both groups may discriminate. In two studies, we investigated whether conservatives and liberals support discrimination against value violators, and whether liberals’ and conservatives’ values distinctly affect discrimination. Results demonstrated that liberals and conservatives supported discrimination against ideologically dissimilar groups, an effect mediated by perceptions of value violations. Liberals were more likely than conservatives to espouse egalitarianism and universalism, which attenuated their discrimination; whereas the conservatives’ value of traditionalism predicted more discrimination, and their value of self-reliance predicted less discrimination. This suggests liberals and conservatives are equally likely to discriminate against value violators, but liberal values may ameliorate discrimination more than conservative values.
Keywords: prejudice/stereotyping, political psychology, stereotypes, discrimination, quantitative models
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-667
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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