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TitlePrejudiced Personalities Revisited
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Table of Contents
                            List of Papers
1. Generalized Prejudice: A Brief Illustration
2. Prejudice
	2.1 Prejudice Defined
	2.2 Explicit and Implicit Prejudice
	2.3 Cultural versus Personal Associations
	2.4 Generalized Prejudice
	2.5 Ethnocentrism
3. The Person-Situation Debate
4. Personality and Ideology Explanations for Prejudice
	4.1 Authoritarianism
	4.2 Social Dominance Orientation
	4.3 Ideology or Personality Constructs?
	4.4 Core Personality
	5. Aims
6. Methodology
	6.1 Method overview
	6.2. Sampling and Participants
	6.3 Personality and Ideology Measures
		6.3.1 Big Five personality
		6.3.2 Right-Wing Authoritarianism
		6.3.3 Social Dominance Orientation
		6.3.4 Empathy
		6.3.5 Honesty-Humility and Narcissism
	6.4 Explicit Prejudice Measures
		6.4.1 Ethnic Prejudice
		6.4.2 Sexism
		6.4.3 Prejudice toward People with Disabilities
		6.4.4 Sexual Prejudice
		6.4.5 Prejudice toward Overweight People
		6.4.6 Prejudice toward Old People
	6.5 Implicit Prejudice Measures
		6.5.1 Implicit Association Test for Ethnicity
		6.5.2 Implicit Association Test for Weight
		6.5.3 Implicit Association Test for Age
		6.5.4 Implicit Association Test for Sexual Prejudice
	6.6 Minimal Group Experiments and Ethnocentrism
7. Empirical Papers
	7.1 Paper I
		7.1.1. Background and Aim
		7.1.2 Method
		7.1.3 Results
		7.1.4 Discussion
	7.2 Paper II
		7.2.1 Background and Aim
		7.2.2 Study 1
		7.2.2 Study 2
		7.2.3 Study 3
		7.2.4 Additional Analyses (Not Included in Paper)
		7.2.5 Discussion
	7.3 Paper III
		7.3.1 Background and Aim
		7.3.2 Study 1
		7.3.3 Study 2
		7.3.4 Study 3
8 General Discussion
	8.1 Major Findings
	8.2 Explicit and Implicit Prejudice Revisited
	8.3 Prejudice-Controlling Personalities
	8.4 Generalized Prejudice versus Generalized Warmth
	8.5 Sub-dimensions in Generalized Prejudice?
	8.6 Generalized Devaluation or Generalized Negativity?
	8.7 Generalized Biases and Suitable Targets
	8.8 Psychological Unity and Non-Prejudiced Ideology
	8.9 Psychological Unity and Prejudiced Ideology
	8.10 Personality and Prejudiced Ideology
	8.11 Other Relevant Personalities?
	8.12 Practical Implications
	8.13 Closing Words
9 References
10. Acknowledgements
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Document Text Contents
Page 1




Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations
from the Faculty of Social Sciences 91

Prejudiced Personalities

On the Nature of (Generalized) Prejudice


ISSN 1652-9030
ISBN 978-91-554-8810-9

Page 2

Dissertation presented at Uppsala University to be publicly examined in Auditorium Minus,
Museum Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, 753 10 Uppsala, Uppsala, Friday, 20 December
2013 at 13:15 for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The examination will be conducted
in English. Faculty examiner: Gordon Hodson (Department of Psychology, Brock University).


Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social
Sciences 91. 118 pp. Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. ISBN 978-91-554-8810-9.

In the media, one type of prejudice is often discussed as isolated from other types of prejudice.
For example, after Breivik’s massacre, intolerance toward Muslims was intensely debated (for
good reasons). However, his manifesto also disclosed extreme attitudes towards women and
gays, a fact which passed without much notice. Still, in understanding why some individuals
are so extremely intolerant compared to others, the psychological unity underlying different
kinds of prejudice (e.g., racism, sexism) needs to be considered. This psychological unity,
referred to as generalized prejudice, provided the starting point for personality theories on
prejudice because it suggests that some people are simply more biased than other people in
principle. Today it is well known that two basic personality characteristics, agreeableness and
openness to new experiences, are powerful predictors of prejudice. However, more precisely
what these variables can, versus cannot, explain has received little attention. Consequently, the
aim of this thesis was to provide a more fine-grained analysis of generalized prejudice and its
personality roots. Paper I demonstrated that personality mainly accounts for variance shared
by several prejudice targets (generalized prejudice) whereas group membership mainly predicts
unique variance in prejudice towards a particular target group. Thus, personality and group
membership factors explain prejudice for different reason, and do not contradict each other.
Paper II demonstrated, across three studies, that agreeableness and openness to experience are
related to self-reported (explicit) prejudice, but not automatically expressed (implicit) biases.
Personality seems informative about who chooses to express devaluing sentiments, but not who
harbors spontaneous biases. Finally, Paper III examined the assumption that personality explains
(explicit) generalized prejudice because some people simply favor their own group over all
other groups (ethnocentrism). Providing the first direct test of this assumption, the results from
three studies suggest that while agreeableness and openness to experience explain generalized
prejudice, they do not account for purely ethnocentric attitudes. This indicates a fundamental
difference between ethnocentrism and generalized prejudice. All in all, self-reported personality
seems to have little to do with spontaneous group negativity or simple ingroup favoritism.
However, personality strongly predicts deliberate and verbalized devaluation of disadvantaged

Keywords: Prejudice, Personality, Explicit attitudes, Implicit attitudes, Ethnocentrism, Big
Five, Agreeableness, Openness to Experience

Robin Bergh, Department of Psychology, Box 1225, Uppsala University, SE-75142 Uppsala,

© Robin Bergh 2013

ISSN 1652-9030
ISBN 978-91-554-8810-9
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-210292 (


Page 60


motivation + prejudice in explicit ones), but the results nonetheless convey
the same principal message: Explicit and implicit measures have different
psychological underpinnings. Whether we have picked up on two, three or
four construct is irrelevant in that regard, the conclusion holds that there is
not a single construct behind it all. If explicit and implicit prejudice were just
two sides of the same coin, then they should have the same personality roots.
Obviously, they do not. The findings indicate that perhaps the most im-
portant, or at least most systematic individual differences in prejudice are
those that center on controlled expressions. In contrast, individual differ-
ences in implicit prejudice seem less systematic, and with the possible lack
of personality roots, they would seem more contextually dependent.

The variance accounted for by a generalized prejudice factor in explicit
and implicit prejudice in these studies is also informative when it comes the
discussion about person versus contextual effects. As commented in the
background to this paper, generalization across targets indicates person (as
opposed to contextual) effects. Noteworthy, not only did explicit prejudice
display much stronger relations with the personality variables, but the gener-
alized prejudice factor also accounted for more variance. This would indicate
a stronger person account in explicit than implicit measures. On the other
hand, it was not the case that a generalized prejudice factor was lacking en-
tirely on the implicit side. Considering the low reliabilities in these studies
for the IAT, the variance accounted for by the factor was considerable. So
could this not be considered an indication that there is indeed a personal
component in the IAT?

The simple answer to that question is yes, the latent factor for the IATs is
indicative of person effects. Indeed, the argument is not that the IAT is com-
pletely uninformative about the person. However, the big question when it
comes to the IAT is what the test tells about the person. Here it should be
noted that some scholars distinguish between cognitive abilities and person-
ality traits. For example, Penke, Denissen, and Miller (2007) described the
former as concerning “maximal performance in solving cognitive tasks” (p.
550) whereas personality traits have to do with behavioral trends or disposi-
tions. If one accepts this distinction then it follows that not all person effects
are personality effects. Indeed, critics of the IAT have often pointed it out
that the IAT mainly picks up cognitive abilities (e.g., Fiedler et al., 2006).
Still, as previously commented, this view on the IAT does not explain why it
predicts attitude-relevant behaviors (see e.g., Greenwald et al., 2009).

Discussing person and personality effects in the IAT, it is also relevant to
discuss the stability or coherence within the individual tests. In some cases in
these studies, the implicit attitudes were highly unreliable. Importantly, this
should not be undermining the inquiry about personality relations in these
studies, as error variance is factored out from the structural relations exam-
ined with latent variables (for a discussion on this topic, see Cunningham,
Preacher, & Banaji, 2001). However, while reliability problems can be side-

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stepped in theoretical inquiries (Cunningham et al., 2001) they cannot be
sidestepped in explaining everyday behaviors. For understanding why people
differ in their behaviors, time after time, reliable attitude measures will al-
ways have the upper hand. To illustrate the point, consider two screening
procedures for cancer, one being highly reliable ( = .95) and the other being
highly unreliable ( = .20). Given the choice between these two as a diag-
nostic tool it would be extremely unwise to choose the latter one. Reliability
simply cannot be corrected for when making inferences about individual
behaviors or consequences. Thus, even when these implicit attitude measures
reveal strong latent relations, it is most unlikely to perform well as a diag-
nostic tool (and the IAT has been proposed to be used for diagnostic purpos-
es, see e.g., Gray, MacCulloch, Smith, Morris, & Snowden, 2003).

Still, what is puzzling about explicit and implicit prejudice in relation to
behaviors is that implicit measures provide equally, and sometimes better
predictability (Greenwald et al., 2009). In other words, even when the IAT
works against the odds that are associated with lower reliability, it still
comes out at the top in some comparisons. The question then, is how implicit
prejudice influences people’s behavior.

One possible answer to the question about behavioral predictions is that
explicit and implicit prejudice influence different kinds of behaviors. It has
been found that explicit prejudice explains controlled behaviors, whereas
implicit prejudice explains spontaneous behaviors (Dovidio, Kawakami,
Johnson, Johnson, & Howard, 1997; Neumann, Hülsenbeck, & Seibt, 2004).
Interestingly, parallel findings have been established for different assess-
ments of personality. Asendorpf, Banse, and Mücke (2002) found that an
IAT measurement of a shy personality predicted spontaneous shy behaviors
whereas self-reported personality predicted controlled shy behaviors. Thus,
just as people might have dual attitudes, we could potentially have dual per-
sonalities as well – one spontaneous and one controlled. Possibly then, peo-
ple’s “spontaeous personality” might do a better job at predicting implicit
prejudice. For example, it is not unthinkable that there is such a thing as an
implicit open-minded personality, characterized by spontaneously trying
new things (as opposed to choosing new experiences after thorough delibera-
tion, i.e. “explicit Openness”). Such a person might reveal less biased behav-
iors and attitudes when they are also spontaneous or implicit in nature (e.g.,
spontaneously choosing to sit beside a person with a different skin color).
Possibly then, the difference between explicit and implicit prejudice is not
that one relates to personality while the other does not. Instead it might be
the case that they relate to different kinds of personality constructs, distin-
guished by their controllability. This perspective, however, is built on the
premise that the low reliabilities obtained for the implicit measures here
were coincidental. If it is impossible to determine who is more biased in the
IAT, even from one block to another, then it is difficult to leverage the ar-
gument for an implicitly prejudiced personality.

Page 120

Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations
from the Faculty of Social Sciences 91

Editor: The Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences

A doctoral dissertation from the Faculty of Social Sciences,
Uppsala University, is usually a summary of a number of
papers. A few copies of the complete dissertation are kept
at major Swedish research libraries, while the summary
alone is distributed internationally through the series Digital
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the
Faculty of Social Sciences.





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