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Religious Prejudices as a Religious Worldview Maintenance Strategy

Title: Religious Prejudices as a Religious Worldview Maintenance Strategy.
Name(s): Goplen, Joanna, author
Plant, E. Ashby, professor directing thesis
Ehrlinger, Joyce, committee member
Taylor, Jeanette Ella, committee member
Department of Psychology, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2010
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Religion can strongly impact people's worldviews. Although religion has many positive implications, it is also associated with intergroup tension and conflict. I argue that people vary in the degree to which religion influences their worldview and that this individual difference may have important implications for understanding religious prejudice. For people with strong religious worldviews (RWV), religious outgroups may threaten their foundational beliefs and approach to the world, which may heighten outgroup antipathy and avoidance. To examine these ideas, I developed and validated a measure of RWV and then assessed the role of RWV in religious prejudice. In Study 1A, the RWV scale demonstrated high reliability, convergent validity, and was related to religious prejudice. Further, RWV was a stronger predictor for prejudice against Atheists which are likely perceived as the most threatening religious outgroup by people with a strong RWV. In Study 1B, RWV predicted other RWV maintenance strategies such as decreased support for science, increased religious intolerance, and increased support for aggression toward a religious outgroup. In Study 2, Christian participants anticipated interacting with an Atheist, Christian, or control (no religion) confederate. Consistent with a desire to protect their worldview, people with a strong RWV were more interested in avoiding interacting with the Atheist compared to the other conditions. People with a weak RWV did not differ in their reactions to the different confederates. These findings indicate that the avoidance and subjugation of religious outgroups may serve as a means of worldview preservation for some people. The implications of these findings for the perpetuation of interfaith prejudice and aggression will be discussed.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-4136 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2010.
Date of Defense: June 21, 2010.
Keywords: Intergroup Relations, Worldview Defense, Religion, Prejudice
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: E. Ashby Plant, Professor Directing Thesis; Joyce Ehrlinger, Committee Member; Jeanette Ella Taylor, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Psychology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Goplen, J. (2010). Religious Prejudices as a Religious Worldview Maintenance Strategy. Retrieved from