Traditional versus social values as antecedents of racial stereotyping and policy conservatism

Jon Hurwitz, Mark Peffley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Recent studies of racial attitudes have focused on traditional values, such as individualism, as important antecedents of Americans' opinions on racial issues, with mixed results. We focus on another set of values that has its roots in an older research tradition examining the psychological sources of racial prejudice, which suggests that prejudice against blacks is part of a more encompassing set of values regarding one's acceptance of social diversity. We find that these social values-conformity and social intolerance-are much stronger predictors of racial stereotypes and racial policy attitudes than traditional values of individualism and equalitarianism. We also find these social values to condition an ethnocentric response toward international outgroups in a domain as diverse as foreign affairs, thus providing additional evidence of the pervasive and general nature of values related to a rejection of diversity. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our findings for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-421
Number of pages27
JournalPolitical Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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