Explaining Prejudice Toward Americans and Europeans in Egypt: Closed-mindedness and Conservatism Mediate Effects of Religious Fundamentalism

  • Friederike Sadowski Directoration of Justice and the Interior, Office of Corrections, Department of Mental Health Services, Research and Development Direction / Bielefeld University
  • Gerd Bohner Bielefeld University

Abstract

With an Arab-Muslim sample of 160 Egyptian citizens from the greater Cairo area, we examined the role of religion in prejudice toward U.S. Americans and Europeans. When religious fundamentalism was tested concurrently with general religiousness, results showed that only religious fundamentalism significantly predicted both prejudices. In a second step we included closed-mindedness (CM), a facet of need for cognitive closure, and conservatism (RCON), a facet of right-wing authoritarianism, to explain the religion – prejudice link. Instead of using the two variables as parallel mediators, we assumed that CM is a predictor of RCON. Hence, in a first model we applied CM and RCON as serial mediators of the religious fundamentalism – prejudice relation. In a second model, an alternative approach was introduced where fundamentalism was predicted by CM and RCON; prejudice remained the outcome variable. Results showed that RCON had stronger effects in comparison to CM across all models and that religious fundamentalism was marginal or not significant when CM and RCON served as preceding variables in the second model suggesting that they may be more decisive than religious fundamentalism in the development of prejudice. Participants distinguished between U.S. Americans and Europeans with U.S. Americans being the more relevant outgroup in the religious context.

Author Biographies

Friederike Sadowski, Directoration of Justice and the Interior, Office of Corrections, Department of Mental Health Services, Research and Development Direction / Bielefeld University
PhD student at the Institute of Psychology at Bielefeld University, currently working as researcher at the Canton of Zurich, Directoration of Justice and the Interior, Office of Corrections, Department of Mental Health Services, Research and Development Direction
Gerd Bohner, Bielefeld University
Professor at the Institute of Psychology, Bielefeld University
Published
2016-10-17
Section
Open Section