The effects of stereotype content on acculturation preferences and prosocial tendencies: The prominent role of morality

Lucia López-Rodríguez, Hanna Zagefka

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This study provides experimental evidence about the effect of stereotypes on majority members’ acculturation preferences and their prosocial behavioral tendencies toward minority members. This work aimed to understand the distinct effect of the stereotype dimensions of morality, sociability, and competence when predicting these variables. An experimental study was carried out with 201 British participants who read a news article in which Indian minority members were depicted as high (vs. low) on each of the three stereotype dimensions. After reading the experimental manipulation, participants reported their acculturation preferences by indicating their desire for culture maintenance and adoption among minority members, and their willingness to support positive institutional measures toward Indians. Only morality (vs. sociability or competence) had a direct effect on desire for cultural maintenance: majority members were more flexible about Indians’ maintenance of their original culture when those were perceived as highly moral. Even if no direct effects of stereotypes were found on prosocial behavioral tendencies, morality was still the unique dimension that indirectly predicted prosocial tendencies through desire for maintenance. Once again, the prominent effect of morality was confirmed for intergroup relationships, playing a more important role than sociability and competence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-46
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Early online date17 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

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