Taking Threat Seriously: Prejudice, Principle, and Attitudes Toward Racial Policies

Taking Threat Seriously: Prejudice, Principle, and Attitudes Toward Racial Policies Drawing from group theories of race-related attitudes and electoral politics, we develop and test how anxiety influences the relative weight of prejudice as a determinant of individuals’ support for racial policies. We hypothesize that prejudice will more strongly influence the racial policy preferences of people who are feeling anxious than it will for people who are not. Using an experimental design we manipulate subjects’ levels of threat and find significant treatment effects, as hypothesized. We find that individuals’ racial policy attitudes are partially conditional on their affective states: individuals who feel anxious report less support for racial policies than those individuals who do not feel anxious, even when this threat is stimulated by non-racial content. More broadly, we conclude that affect is central to a better understanding of individuals’ political attitudes and behaviors. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Taking Threat Seriously: Prejudice, Principle, and Attitudes Toward Racial Policies

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-009-9102-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Drawing from group theories of race-related attitudes and electoral politics, we develop and test how anxiety influences the relative weight of prejudice as a determinant of individuals’ support for racial policies. We hypothesize that prejudice will more strongly influence the racial policy preferences of people who are feeling anxious than it will for people who are not. Using an experimental design we manipulate subjects’ levels of threat and find significant treatment effects, as hypothesized. We find that individuals’ racial policy attitudes are partially conditional on their affective states: individuals who feel anxious report less support for racial policies than those individuals who do not feel anxious, even when this threat is stimulated by non-racial content. More broadly, we conclude that affect is central to a better understanding of individuals’ political attitudes and behaviors.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 9, 2009

References

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