Friday, November 1, 2019

Are atheists unprejudiced? Forms of nonbelief and prejudice toward antiliberal and mainstream religious groups

Uzarevic, F., Saroglou, V., & Muñoz-García, A. (2019). Are atheists unprejudiced? Forms of nonbelief and prejudice toward antiliberal and mainstream religious groups. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, Oct 2019,

Abstract: Building on the ideological-conflict hypothesis, we argue that, beyond the religion–prejudice association, there should exist an irreligion–prejudice association toward groups perceived as actively opposing the values of nonbelievers (antiliberal targets) or even as simply being ideologically different: religionists of mainstream religions. Collecting data from three secularized Western European countries (total N = 1,158), we found that, though both believers and nonbelievers disliked moral and religious antiliberals (antigay activists and fundamentalists), atheists and agnostics showed prejudicial discriminatory attitudes toward antiliberals, but also toward mere Christians, and atheists did so also toward Buddhists. Prejudice toward antiliberal and mainstream religious targets was predicted uniquely by antireligious critique, occasionally in addition to high existential quest for the antiliberal targets, but in addition to low existential quest and low belief in the world’s benevolence for mainstream religionists. Future studies should determine whether the effects are similar, more pronounced, or attenuated in very religious societies.

Check also Are atheists undogmatic? Filip Uzarevic, Vassilis Saroglou, Magali Clobert. Personality and Individual Differences 116:164-170, October 2017. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2017.04.046
Abstract: Previous theory and evidence favor the idea that religious people tend to be dogmatic to some extent whereas non-religious people are undogmatic: the former firmly hold beliefs, some of which are implausible or even contrary to the real world evidence. We conducted a further critical investigation of this idea, distinguishing three aspects of rigidity: (1) self-reported dogmatism, defined as unjustified certainty vs. not standing for any beliefs, (2) intolerance of contradiction, measured through (low) endorsement of contradictory statements, and (3) low readiness to take a different from one's own perspective, measured through the myside bias technique. Non-believers, at least in Western countries where irreligion has become normative, should be lower on the first, but higher on the other two constructs. Data collected from three countries (UK, France, and Spain, total N = 788) and comparisons between Christians, atheists, and agnostics confirmed the expectations, with agnostics being overall similar to atheists.

Are nonreligious people open-minded, flexible, and undogmatic? Previous research has investigated the links between religiosity, or specific forms of it, and social cognitive tendencies reflecting various aspects of closed-mindedness. The results regarding religious fundamentalism are clear and consistent (Rowatt, Shen, LaBouff, & Gonzalez, 2013). However, even common religiosity, that is being high vs. low on common religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices, often reflects closed-minded ways of thinking to some extent.

Indeed, religiosity is, to a modestdegree, characterized by dogmatism, defined as an inflexibility of ideas, unjustified certainty or denial of evidence contrary to one's own beliefs (Moore&Leach,2016;Vonk & Pitzen, 2016), the need for closure, i.e. the need for structure, order, and answers (Saroglou, 2002), and, in terms of broader personality traits, low openness to experience, in particular low openness to values (Saroglou, 2010). Experimental work provides some causal evidence, that religious beliefs increase when people are confronted with disorder, ambiguity, uncertainty, a lack of control, or a threat to self-esteem (Sedikides & Gebauer, 2014). Not surprisingly thus, religiosity, though to a lesser extent and less consistently than fundamentalism, is often found to predict prejudice. This is certainly the case against moral (e.g., gay persons) and religious outgroups and atheists, but also against ethnic or racial outgroups, at least in monotheistic religious contexts (see Clobert, Saroglou, & Hwang, 2017, for limitations in the East) and when prejudice against a speci fic target is not explicitly socially/religiously prohibited (Batson, Schoenrade, & Ventis, 1993; Ng & Gervais, 2017; Rowatt, Carpenter, & Haggard, 2014).

From this line of research, it is often concluded that non-believers tend to be undogmatic, flexible, open-minded, and unprejudiced, or, to phrase it reversely, express closed-minded tendencies to a lesser degreethan religious believers (Streib&Klein,2013;Zuckerman,Galen,& Pasquale,2016). Beyond the above mentioned evidence whichhastypically been derivedfromanalysesin which religiosity is treated as a continuum, thus assuming linearity from the low to the high end of the religiosity continuum, sociological work based on comparisons between groups who provide self-identification intermsof conviction/affiliation also suggests that atheists are indeed the lowest in the above-mentioned kinds of prejudice(Norris & Inglehart, 2004).

Can psychological research thus clearly and unambiguously affirm that atheists are undogmatic and flexible, at least to a greater degree than their religious peers? We argue that such a conclusion is premature. In the present work, we investigate specific domains of cognition where non-believers may show higher inflexibility in thinking, at least in secularized cultural contexts like those in Western Europe. We also examine whether the above holds for all non-religious persons (for brevity hereafter: non-believers) or only for the subtype who self-identify as atheists. Finally, we will examine the above questions using both self-reported and implicit measures of closed-mindedness. Below, we will first develop our rationale and then detail the study expectations.

Theories link threat with right-wing political beliefs; our findings show that political beliefs and perceptions of threat are linked, but that the relationship is nuanced

Worldview conflict and prejudice. Mark J.Brandt, Jarret T.Crawford. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, October 31 2019.

Ungated, old version: Brandt, M. J., & Crawford, J. T. (Accepted/In press). Worldview conflict and prejudice. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 1-99. Aug 27 2019.

Abstract: People are motivated to protect their worldviews. One way to protect one's worldviews is through prejudice toward worldview-dissimilar groups and individuals. The traditional hypothesis predicts that people with more traditional and conservative worldviews will be more likely to protect their worldviews with prejudice than people with more liberal and progressive worldviews, whereas the worldview conflict hypothesis predicts that people with both traditional and liberal worldviews will be protect their worldviews through prejudice. We review evidence across both political and religious domains, as well as evidence using disgust sensitivity, Big Five personality traits, and cognitive ability as measures of individual differences historically associated with prejudice. We discuss four core findings that are consistent with the worldview conflict hypothesis: (1) The link between worldview conflict and prejudice is consistent across worldviews. (2) The link between worldview conflict and prejudice is found across various expressions of prejudice. (3) The link between worldview conflict and prejudice is found in multiple countries. (4) Openness, low disgust sensitivity, and cognitive ability—traits and individual differences historically associated with less prejudice—may in fact also show evidence of worldview conflict. We discuss how worldview conflict may be rooted in value dissimilarity, identity, and uncertainty management, as well as potential routes for reducing worldview conflict.

Keywords: WorldviewsIdeologyPartisanshipPoliticsReligionReligious fundamentalismPrejudiceDiscriminationAffective polarization

Individuals with high grandiose narcissism based their well‐being partly on intelligence and considered intelligence important for success in different life domains, especially for social relations

What Do Highly Narcissistic People Think and Feel about (Their) Intelligence? Marcin Zajenkowski  Anna Z. Czarna  Kinga Szymaniak  Michael Dufner. Journal of Personality, October 26 2019.

Objective The current research comprehensively examined how grandiose and vulnerable narcissism are linked to intelligence and intelligence‐related beliefs and emotions.
Method In four studies (total N = 1141) we tested the associations between both forms of narcissism, subjectively and objectively assessed intelligence, basic personality traits, test‐related stress, beliefs about intelligence and well‐being.
Results Both forms of narcissism (grandiose and vulnerable) were unrelated to objective intelligence. Grandiose narcissism was associated with high self‐perceived intelligence (Studies 1–3) and explained more variance in self‐perceived intelligence than objective intelligence and the Big Five personality traits. It was correlated with reduced distress in the context of IQ testing and low engagement in cognitive performance (Study 2). Individuals with high grandiose narcissism based their well‐being (Study 3) partly on intelligence and considered intelligence important for success in different life domains, especially for social relations (Study 4). Vulnerable narcissism was unrelated to self‐perceived intelligence (Studies 1–3) and went along with increased distress in the context of IQ testing (Study 2).
Conclusions The results indicate that the topic of intelligence is of key importance for people with high grandiose narcissism psychological functioning and it also has some relevance for individuals with high vulnerable narcissism.