Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Future of Social Sciences
The Relationship between Religious Symbols and Intergroup Attitudes among Majority Group Members
Lipaz Shamoa-Nir and Irene Razpurker-Apfeld
Negative intergroup attitudes cause serious social problems in many societies throughout the world. It seems that the negative consequences for out-group members stem from a combination of two contrasting processes, in-group preference and out-group derogation. As research has progressed, a growing interest has been shown in understanding the emergence of negative out-group attitudes while focusing on variables such as intergroup threat, contact between groups, social norms and religion. This study investigated the influence of exposure to religious concepts on prejudices and threat perceptions of Jewish majority members towards Arab minority members in Israel. The aim of the study was to examine whether evoking religious content influenced out-group attitudes and perceived threat, and whether religiosity would moderate the effects. Participants completed a word search puzzle that served as a supraliminal priming task, and then filled questionnaires measuring their out-group attitudes and threat perceptions. It seems that supraliminal exposure to religious content does not have an impact on attitudes of a majority group towards a religious minority out-group possibly due to social desirability effects. Although this is a preliminary investigation, the results of this study highlight the contribution of religious content to intergroup attitudes formation for majority group members toward minority members.
Keywords: out-group attitudes, prejudice, religious, Israel, threat, minority/majority.