Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren
We have a tendency to show a preference towards those who are most similar to ourselves. Most commonly, these biases feed into the perceived ideas that those similar to us (the in-group) are good and that those different from ourselves (the out-group) are bad (Rosenbaum & Holtz, 1985). In addition, Ruthland et al. (2010) demonstrated that the morality bias (i.e., preferring those that are good) often is stronger than the group bias (i.e., preferring the in-group); that is, moral preference is given priority over group membership. We sought to understand the interaction between how Christian participants perceive and rate individuals varying in group status (Christianity: in-group vs. Muslim: out-group) and morality (good vs. bad). The 118 participants were assigned to one of four conditions: moral/in-group, immoral/in-group, moral/out-group, and immoral/out-group. They completed a series of religious questionnaires, including quest religiousness, which is the perception of religion as a journey. Those who endorse quest religiousness indicate that they have a high tolerance for religious doubt and uncertainty. The participants were presented with descriptions of a fictitious individual that matched their condition and rated the individual on personality descriptor and interests to interact. A main effect revealed a preference for moral over immoral targets. However, a significant three-way interaction between quest religiousness, target morality, and group status revealed that when rating moral individuals, those high in quest religiousness rated the out-group member more favorably, and those low in quest religiousness rated the in-group member more favorably. This interaction indicates that a potential reverse of in-group bias occurs in those who view religion as a quest: such individuals rate more favorably those who are moral and religiously dissimilar than those who are moral and religiously similar.
Repository citation: Hakim, Sabrina; Stafford, Joshua; Garwood, Paige; and Bohler, Abigail, "Examining the Interactive Effects of Group Status and Perceived Morality on Personality Judgments" (2014). 13th Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance (2014). Paper 184.
April 11, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Hope College, Holland, Michigan.