Psychological underpinnings of Prejudice and Discrimination and Prejudice-Reduction

Our research on the causes of prejudice primarily focuses on the role of authoritarian ideologies and emotions.Recently, Gordon Hodson and I and our colleagues proposed the conceptof intergroup disgust sensitivity (ITGDS; Hodson, Choma et al., 2013) — an affect-laden variable reflecting dispositional differences in the tendency to experience disgust and revulsion reactions toward ethnic outgroups.Currently, our lab is exploring ideological correlates of ITG-DS and how ITG-DS relates to various prejudices.

Much of our work on prejudice has been exploring ideological and situational (e.g., exposure to threat) predictors of Islamophobia. Islamphobia is on the rise; hence, there is an urgent need to understanding this prejudice in particular.

Finally, our lab is also interested in investigating ways to reduce prejudice. Our studies typically employ inventions related to empathy and actual or imagined intergroup contact. Currently, we are exploring the effects of online contact with outgroup members.